One day, Al decided to apologize. He apologized to his wife for the many times he’d sarcastically undercut her and his one brief affair. He apologized to his children for occasional temper tantrums and for not having enough money to provide them with the lessons and tutoring and exotic vacations other parents in his suburb managed. He apologized to his dog for the time he’d forgotten her outdoors in the cold and she’d almost died. He apologized to his coworkers for the times he’d depended on them to finish up work he should have gotten to.
Al apologized to the Earth for how much he polluted her with his large, used cars and his propensity for turning up the air conditioning on hot summer days. He apologized to Black people for his apathy in doing anything at all to advance the struggle for racial equality and for his cowardice in not standing up for a kid bullied in high school. Similarly, he apologized for not standing up for a probably gay kid and for even participating a bit in the bullying. Al apologized to hungry children overseas, even in the city near his suburb, even a few in the suburb itself, for not donating even a bit to help. He apologized to Democracy for doing so little to protect it beyond voting once every four years (and sometimes mid-terms).
Al failed in only one important apology–to himself.