Of all the graduations I have attended, I only remember what the speaker said at my first one. My grammar school principal stood on stage before us and held up a clean 8-by-11 piece of paper except for one spot on it. She encouraged us to remember that one blemish did not taint all of a person’s character and that we should concentrate on developing the good in ourselves and finding it in others. The totality on the sheet is what matters.
Yet, recent revelations in Virginia have led us to focus on the spots and to speculate whether there are any officeholders in this state who have not committed offenses against individuals or groups.
The time has come to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Open meetings across the commonwealth would provide an opportunity for public leaders and others to admit past wrongs done to individuals and segments of our community. Would not owning our misdeeds and expressing our regrets be restorative for us all? Asking for forgiveness and offering restitution by doing public service would be far more constructive than tearing each other apart.
Fredrika J. Teute