This was a bit long to put with the quotes so here is an excerpt from Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
"For some reason, I begin by scrawling that word at the top of the page. I look at it. Sorry. Sorry. It’s a word that haunts and hurts to read. It seems to pardon itself for being on the page. It’s a word as clear as it is elusive. I write around it. Weaving and scratching. I give it story and dialogue. I give it names and places. I give it breath and voice. —And it becomes clear to me that it’s a good word used by good people. Nobody is truly virtuous, nobody avoids the creeping curse. Every character in every story is buffeted between good and bad, between right and wrong. But it’s good people who can tell the difference, who know when they’ve crossed the line. And it’s a hard and humbling gesture, to take blame and admit fault. You’ve got to get brave to say it and mean it. Sorry.
Sorry means you feel the pulse of other people’s pain as well as your own, and saying it means you take a share of it. And so it binds us together, makes us as trodden and sodden as one another. Sorry is a lot of things. It’s a hole refilled. A debt repaid. Sorry is the wake of misdeed. It’s the crippling ripple of consequence. Sorry is sadness, just as knowing is sadness. Sorry is sometimes self-pity. But Sorry, really, is not about you. It’s theirs to take or leave.
Sorry means you leave yourself open, to embrace or ridicule or to revenge. Sorry is a question that begs forgiveness, because the metronome of a good heart won’t settle until things are set right and true. Sorry doesn’t take things back, but it pushes thing forward. It bridges the gap. Sorry is a sacrament. It’s an offering. A gift.
Yes. Sorry is when good people feel bad. And the folks who trouble me are the ones who, through some break in their circuitry, through some hole in their heart, can’t feel it, or say it, or scratch it into trees.”