National Day for Truth and Reconciliation We all must taste that sensation

Today we begin a new path by celebrating the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

One of the best gifts one can be born with is the marvellous sensation of belonging. There’s nothing like it.

You mustn’t question your person, the place you live in, the thing you do habitually, the tradition you’ve lived along. You mustn’t feel estranged. You can feel part of something bigger and feel safe being part of that bigger something.

But that’s a thing only a part of our people can honestly say to have lived in the last couple of centuries.

Well, not a part: a handful.

And, when I say “our people”, I don’t mean blacks, asians, spanish, or some sort of tribes of the past: when I say that, I mean POC. People of colour.

Which is something that could be offensive perhaps, in some ways, but I guess that’s not the point in this instance.

The point is that when I say “our people”, my mind goes all of a sudden to blacks, indigenous, immigrants, poor, youngsters and elders who need care assistance consistently women, sexual minorities, political and religious refugees, and so on, and so on, and so on.

It never came to my mind one able body, straight, rich, white person. That’s the opposite of our people.

And will always be. Even when they say they’re sorry and want to make up for the errors of the past, for the horrors that my people, our people, lived through decades and centuries, those people will always be something that doesn’t quite come up when I think about “our people”.

For me, they will always make me feel estranged, and I will not feel that marvellous sensation of belonging because that’s the society we live in. We ghettoise people, and we compartmentalise and get further and further away from each other.

But that’s exactly the problem, that’s the original sin! Isn’t it?

Considering we won’t see them as part of us, and they won’t see us as part of them, there will always be segregation and ignorance around certain topics.

It will always separate us.

This constant feeling of not belonging to one another, of being born as a different one, will always be there.

So we question our person, we question the place we live, the thing we habitually do, and the tradition we’ve been living all across our lives if we want to conduct a differently. Or we completely reject other places where to live, other habits we might gain, other traditions we might fall in love with.

We build, unconsciously, a ghetto around us. We’re here, they’re there, and there cannot be any point of contact, inclusion and integration.

Guess what happened last time when integration, inclusion, and any bridge that could have worked was left aside, forgotten or dismissed?

Guess what happened last time that truth and reconciliation weren’t the centres of everything?

Destruction. Disruption. Loneliness. Trauma. Death.

We ought to change that!

We change that now.

Today we mark History, today we begin a new path.

Today a new Canada arises from the horrors of the past.

Because today we celebrate, we commemorate, and, quite simply, we stay together to remember and recognise the fact that nobody, anymore, for any reason should ever again feel any different from the sensation of belonging fully to our society.

Never again one of our children should use the word “us and them” in an exclusive way.

Today is just but a small step in all the things we’re called upon to solve and fight. Yet, today is the day where we start.

When I think of “our people” I don’t think of them. So do they.

When tomorrow I’ll think of “our people” I’ll start thinking about them. Because they will think about us.

Now they must. At least once a year.

And our children will all respect each other, and go beyond the horrors that indigenous lived first and then all along with so many others for too long.

This day, which is so, so important for the native Canadians, marks a new beginning for all of us.

We will fight together.

Because one of the best gifts one can be born with is the marvelous sensation of belonging. There’s nothing like it.

And we all must taste that sensation.

Whoever and wherever we are.

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