Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Interns meet with Commissioner Bob Peters

On Wednesday afternoon, our summer interns had the opportunity to meet with TR Commissioner Bob Peters (see bio here) and hear about his background as well as his perspectives on the truth and reconciliation process in Greensboro. A few of the interesting topics of the conversation were as follows:

1. When asked to compare his experiences in corporate law and his experiences as a Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner, Bob said: "In law, you don't ask a question if you can't live with the answer. In this Commission, you ask every question and the goal is to get as much truth out as you can."

2. Bob and the interns also engaged in a conversation about the sometimes subtle differences between respecting a speaker and accepting what she says as the truth. "Respect is inherent when you really listen," Bob said. "It is very important for the Commission to be open to all perspectives. It doesn't mean that I accept what someone is saying, however, simply because I listen." Each of our interns had different opinions about respecting vs. accepting various perspectives. In the end, we decided that a respectful and responsible listener is able to balance a strong confidence and knowledge of his own core beliefs with an openness to reexamine those beliefs if he hears something that challenges them.

posted by Jill Williams, exec. dir.


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