The Zoey Blog: Thank You John Ralston Saul...for one inexhaustible idea FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thank You John Ralston Saul...for one inexhaustible idea

Reading John Ralston Saul's book, A Fair Country, and a passage struck me as something I might call life altering. A discussion regarding the awful history of Canada's residential school system, and it's terrible impact on aboriginal Canadians, led to a fairly beautiful acknowledgement of our role in one of the more heinous events in North American history. The passage read:

"The Canadian government was right to apologize in 2008 for the destructive residential school system. It should and could have done it in the 1980s or 1990s. And Canadians were right to believe that the apology should be made. It was an act of dignity that befits an adult nation."

It struck with the force of a clenched fist. "An act of dignity, that befits an adult nation." What an impressively simple yet incredibly articulate statement. It was beautiful, I thought, as my pride pounded a little in my chest, and my heart warmed to the notion of a nation doing their best to do very hard things right. I careened off into an almost impossible to quell feeling of wanting the very same in my own life...of seeking dignity in difficult things, and the idea might now be a life changing notion for me. Whatever it was that was so difficult to explain before now had a reference point. I wanted to find my way through doing difficult things with dignity. It was an easy enough idea, but articulating what I felt seemed elusive for what felt like decades. No more. I want what John Ralston Saul so simply wrote in that text. I want to do difficult things with dignity. I'm not sure if I'd have ever found my own words for such a profound thing.


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