Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. James A. Garfield
Truth and reconciliation! Will the truth set us free? As we continue to find gravesites and acknowledge what was done will we finally acknowledge who we are and how we got here?
We need our history to be the truth, as much of it as we know. There have always been wrongs done and much of what is coming to light now has been covered up. If anyone mentioned anything they were shushed. We have other secrets that need to come to light. The National Indian Hospitals are not as well known as the Residential Schools
Are there two sides to every story? Was both good and bad done? We need these stories told. Stories can be told in ways that make them horrific. I had my stomach cut open while I was awake and my baby was taken out (twice), sounds horrific but if I say I had two cesarean section deliveries not so horrific, done for good reason, and two healthy babies the result.
We cannot look at history and judge it only through the eyes of what we now know. We are constantly judging those in power during this pandemic. We don’t all fear the same things, we don’t all think the same practices should be in place. As we come up to another Canada Day some people think we should be so ashamed of Canada we can’t celebrate Canada Day. No country, no people, anywhere in the world has always done the correct, right, and proper thing. We cannot right the wrongs of the past but we can acknowledge them.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
How do we square being part of institutions, countries, religions, organizations, and cultures of people who have not done the right thing? Do we get rid of our beliefs and organizations because they made mistakes, thought, and did wrong things? Or do we go forward better, forgiving and being forgiven?
We can’t be forgiven for what we do not acknowledge. We need to let it all hang out, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We need to tell our stories, we need to heal, forgive, and be forgiven. We will not go forward perfectly. How could a country like Canada built on colonialism, religionism, culturalism, racism, otherism, capitalism, and socialism not have a history we are not proud of? There are always social ills, there always have been. Where does the perfect society exist?
Individuals should tell their stories. Individuals, build their lives and I may be completely wrong to believe that one of the things Canada has tried to do is give equality to the individual.
As we wrestle with the sins of the past, the uncomfortable truths, and injustices that were done can we still be proud of this country we live in warts and all? I for one will celebrate Canada Day not because we are perfect, not because we have always done the right thing, but because we exist, and I can’t think of a better place in the world to live.
As we learn more of the truth of the history of Canada, as we hear people’s stories will the idea behind truth and reconciliation become a reality?
But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie. Khaled Hosseini
The pursuit of truth will set you free; even if you never catch up with it. Clarence Darrow
The truth will not necessarily set you free, but truthfulness will. Ken Wilber
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