This book is so overwhelmingly quotable and thought provoking, that if I stopped to read to Dala every last bit that stands out to me, I'd just read her the whole book. Likewise, if I stopped to share on here every last bit that stands out to me, I'd just be typing out the whole book. So obviously I won't be doing that. That said though, I just got done reading a passage out of this book, just a section of a paragraph, that I think says so, so much and I feel compelled to share it.
For context here, Desmond Tutu is talking about the formation and the makeup of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, of which there were 17 members from various races, religions, and political affiliations.
- We were, as I said, broadly representative of our South African society. That representativeness was a very important attribute to have but it caused us a major headache. We came from diverse backgrounds and we were to discover that apartheid had affected us all in different ways. We learned to our chagrin that we were a microcosm of South African society, more deeply wounded than we had at first imagined. We found that we were often very suspicious of one another and that it was not easy to develop real trust among us. We realized only later that we were all victims of a potent conditioning, with ready-made judgments of those who belonged to other groupings. We would, most of us, have protested vehemently that we were not using stereotypes.
This is about halfway through the fifth chapter of an already pretty hard to read book. Desmond Tutu does a very good job of avoiding using emotionally charged language and has described some pretty horrific incidences in basically neutral tones. Even then, I can't help but feel a great deal of sadness by what I'm reading. This one bit here, is probably the most heartbreaking thing I've read yet though. I think it speaks volumes that even a group of people with a single goal in mind and the best of intentions in their hearts have to struggle in such a way. I think it speaks volumes as to why sometimes society seems really messed up.