Teacher: What do you think, will it suffice to apology?
Pupil: What else can I do?
Teacher: You could offer to compensate in some way.
Pupil: How can I compensate? I don't have any money!
Teacher: You may not need money to do it. Perhaps you should ask
the person you did wrong what she thinks would be a fair reparation?
Even a sincere apology
doesn't necessarily convince people that the same or similar wrongdoing
does not recur. Also, an apology doesn't necessarily suffice to
help those who suffered to feel that justice has taken place. That
is why the apology should be reinforced with a consequence or reparation
or making up.
A consequence works best
(in terms of preventing recurrence of the wrongdoing) if it is not
stereotypical (always the same punishment from the same wrongdoing)
but negotiated with all parties and tailor made to the specific
situation. When discussing what would be a proper way for the wrongdoer
to make up for his actions, the victim (or person who was in danger
or was caused to suffer) should always be consulted. When necessary,
even a larger meeting can be summoned to discuss an appropriate
consequence. In school, for example, classmates may be an invaluable
resource in coming up with creative ways of making up wrongdoings.
In general the consequence
should be of the kind in which the wrongdoer is asked to do something
to make up for whatever harm he has caused. In the best case, the
making up will help the victim forgive the wrongdoer and improves
the relationship between the two.
A successfully reparation
does not only improve broken relationships, but also influences
favourably the reputation of the pupil who did wrong. When people
find out that he has taken responsibility of his action according
to a mutually agreed upon plan, his honour in the eyes of other
Characteristics of Consequences
That Help Build Sense of Responsibility
The victim takes
part in the discussion concerning what would be such a consequence
that it will have a reparatory effect on the relationship
between the person who did wrong and the person who suffered
from the act.
is not dictated to but negotiated with the perpetrator.
is likely to be creative and tailor made to fit the specific
members of the immediate community takes part in the negotiation
concerning what would constitute a fair and appropriate consequence.
is such that it improves the relationship between the person
who did wrong that the person who suffered thereof.
The person who
did wrong accepts the consequence and considers it fair.
Carrying out the
consequence has a favourable influence on the reputation of
the person who did wrong.