An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
I’M NOT A RELIGIOUS person but there’s some pretty good advice in the Bible. For example, “Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone.”
I know those aren’t the exact words but the meaning is that we shouldn’t be quick to judge, and that a person’s life must be weighed in its totality, not on occasional faults and mistakes along the way.
If a person accomplishes great things, if he or she is spiritual in the sense of caring deeply about others and this spaceship we call Earth, that person deserves to be remembered on the balance, not on the exceptions.
There’s another book that offers wisdom on the subject. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is about a dog who wants to be reincarnated as a human.
The lead character Enzo reaches this conclusion:
“The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles — preferably of his own making — in order to triumph.
“A hero without a flaw is of no interest to an audience or to the universe…”
Which brings me to Sir John A. Macdonald. His statue was removed from Victoria City Hall on Saturday because the City council there thinks it will help in reconciliation with First Nations.
If any man was imperfect it was Sir John A., mostly endearingly so but in other ways not so much. He did and said some things he shouldn’t have.
But he was the founder of our nation. He stitched Canada together from unlikely shreds and patterns of cloth and made us into the best country in the world. Like him, Canada is imperfect.
But Sir John A. is our hero. Reconciliation means to restore friendly relations. No matter what has happened in the past, it doesn’t mean one side gets everything it wants.
Reconciliation isn’t about perfection. Nelson Mandela defined a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
So, leave us our imperfect Canadian heroes. Stop beating up on Sir John A.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.