“There was this person I’d been friends with for 10 years, we used to go out for drinks, mostly for work. Then one day I go up to him and ask him : “Would you mind being my best man at my wedding?” And he started to cry. I ask him why he’s crying and he replies: “Let me get my head together, I’ll explain… I’m really touched by what you’re asking me. Listen… I was raised as a racist. I was a huge racist for so many years. And since I met you, you’ve brightened my life.” I was shocked to hear this. Then he looked at me, still with tears in his eyes, and he says: “I accept, with great pleasure.”
That was one of the things that touched me the most. It was a nice expression of love. A man of that age, what it must have cost him to tell me that! It takes a certain amount of courage. Unfortunately for him, he was raised as a racism. When he was a child, his cat was called Adolf… He is 70 years old today, it was another time. He had very violent teenage years, spent fighting and always against foreigners.
He had never spoken to me about it, never. But things had always gone well, we had some good laughs, I had never felt anything strange. But it was really something that was on his mind. And when he told me about it that day, it was like a redemption for him. He told me, “I’ve been lied to my whole life, and I have to get to 60 years old to realize that.” But as I told him, better late than never!
And to this day we are still friends. When I have a problem I can talk to him, and he can talk to me as well. My children know him, he’s like a grandfather to them! It’s nice to see that people can change. Being able to tell yourself: well, maybe I made a mistake, let’s see how things really are. And the best part is that on the day of the wedding, as he was my best man, he made a speech and he told that story in front of everyone, with tears in his eyes. It created an emotion that was extraordinary.”
(Saint Jean | translated from French)