The year begins with spate of exemplary apologies

One mea culpa in particular—from disgraced Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.—offers insight into the framework of a worthwhile apology.

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Anyone can apologize. But to do it well—to extinguish the fire rather than reignite it—requires the one thing that PR professionals can’t fake: sincerity.

For example, last month saw perhaps the biggest mea culpa in the history of environmentalism. Mark Lynas, who helped spearhead the movement against genetically modified foods, recanted and switched sides.

“I could not have chosen a more counterproductive path,” he confessed to the Oxford Farming Conference. “I now regret it completely.” His declaration was courageous and honest.

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