Over Christmas and New Year I read about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I did this because it is so famous, because I have heard Bishop Tutu speak to the public in Durham in the 1980's, because there might be clues for me as I follow what is happening in Bahrain from a great cultural distance, and because I can!
So many paragraphs jumped out at me, but I am picking this edited one:
'Our meetings for the first year or so were hell. It was not easy to arrive at a common mind as each of us tried to stake our claim to the turf and to establish our particular space...I had not been prepared for this atmosphere because I had been spoiled by our church meetings, especially by our synod of bishops meetings, which we all looked forward to eagerly. They were so congenial, so affirmng, so positive, with none of the barbs, innuendoes and slights, real and imagined, that characterised those first Truth and Reconciliation meetings. We were certainly authentic in reflecting the alienations, chasms and suspicions that were part and parcel of our apartheid society. We were a useful paradigm for our nation, for if we could eventually be welded into a reasonably coherent, united and reconciled group then there was hope for South Africa.' p70/71
From 'No Future Without Forgiveness'
By Desmond Tutu, 1999