The thing is, I never voted for Jack Layton and probably never would have. Yet, I find myself amazingly impacted by his death.
Go read this. Jack grew into himself. He did, didn’t he?
These past few days in our country – the way we’ve been unified through this death – it’s fitting isn’t it? For a man who believed – really believed I think – that we can reach all the potential that we have as a nation, through losing him we’ve touched on the profound depth of what it means to be Canadian.
I find myself teary-eyed when I think of him. I’m as surprised by anyone at this – like I said, I never voted for the man. But in the past few years, he… well, he really grew into himself. And he lifted the bar on Parliment Hill because he believed in what he was doing. Because he was respectful. Because he was joyful.
Optimism isn’t something common in our world. And yet, to leave a nation that you love with a message of hope, not to lament how much there is left to be done, not to criticize those who aren’t doing it but to remind everyone that it can be done, that we can all do it.
Jack Layton’s absence in our country and our government is a loss to Canadians. The cynic inside of me wonders how long it will take for politics to take over, for the nation to use this for the wrong agendas. But the other side of me, the unfailing optimist believes that just maybe, this is the path. Maybe this is part of the path to our country changing and growing and becoming better at protecting fellow Canadians and empowering those who are weak and shifting our gaze away from oil and money and greed and violence to finally see the importance of the environment and our children.
My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.
Jack Layton (1950-2011)