Can someone regret something even if they’ve never apologized for their role?

Last week, Dr. Dre issued a public apology to the women he beat up back in the N.W.A. times. While it reeks of PR, it’s still a step in the right direction. Perhaps now he can put his money where his mouth is and donate to causes that prevent domestic violence, and to those that help victims of domestic abuse.

And here we are. Looking at domestic violence and physical abuse through the lens of Popular Culture, as if it happens elsewhere. No. Abuse in 3HO Sikh Dharma was (and likely is) right in our own homes, schools and institutions.

Yet, to date, not one adult Guide who was in India while we were in school there has ever come out publicly or apologized publicly. Yes, Nanak Dev is deceased, so it’s too late to hear those words from the person who was most abusive. But there were plenty others that were both abusive themselves and/or complicit in not doing anything while kids were being beaten.

I find this to be shameful.

If rappers can do it, why can’t they? Maybe it has to do with real regret, as opposed to lip-service regret. Maybe none of them really regret their behavior? Maybe they don’t think it was wrong? Maybe they are too fragile? Maybe they struggled to get back on their feet after India that they just needed to re-establish themselves, forgetting about all the young adults that had their own futures ahead of them? Maybe it didn’t occur to them that the kids they beat and the kids they watched being beaten will take those involuntary scars with them for a lifetime.

Like Dee Barnes said “I have a souvenir I never wanted”.

No one wants those kinds of souvenirs. The people who inflict harm on others are culpable until their victims get justice. Bottom line. There is no other way to have a civilized society.

If our childhood Guides think it’s okay to simply go on, holding their heads high against the reality of what they have done, they are wrong. One man has chosen to take it to his grave. Will the rest of them follow suit, or will they do the right thing?