Today, finally... finally... our government presented a formal apology to the indigenous families whose lives have been disrupted by seven decades of forced removal of children from their parents. Having taught indigenous children for many years I have seen first-hand the suffering this policy has brought to communities and I am thrilled that at last their pain has been acknowledged.
If I were a dog my tail would still be wagging. I've cried at the stories aired today but my general feeling is joy that at last our country has come of age and can admit that a great wrong needs to be acknowledged. In my opinion it's a sign of maturity to be able to say 'Sorry'.
And talking of wagging my imaginary tail - Jabari's mum has sent me an interesting piece of info about canine tail-waggers. She says:
The direction of your dog's tail wags may tell you what's going on at the other end, in his brain. Researchers found that dogs consistently wag their tails to the right at the sight of something pleasing and familiar -- their owners, for example. A dog's left brain, like a human one, deals with positive emotions. And because the left brain controls the right side of the body, happy excitement will send a pup's tail wagging to the right. Tails take a left turn when dogs greet someone less familiar or when they encounter intimidating behavior in other dogs. Wagging to the left reflects feelings like fear and anxiety.I was most interested in her email so I looked around on the Net and there are heaps of sites reporting this research. I thought the one at Land of PureGold Foundation has a clear discussion and, by the way, it's a great site, well worth a look. At Science Buddies there's info for anyone wanting to investigate this behaviour. It's aimed at students wanting to do a science project.
Then again, another report at Discovery Channel, which I found by following a link from Karen Pryor's clickertraining.com says that the tail wagging direction is so subtle that the average person couldn't measure it without analysing a video clip.