Today I, like so many of my fellow Canadian around the country, watched the celebration of life for Jack Layton, a beloved leader who passed last week. I sat mesmerized by the outpouring of love, admiration and appreciation for his optimism, integrity and his commitment to his ideals and causes. My hero Stephen Lewis delivered the eulogy with his unique brand of eloquence and grace.
Everywhere I went today I saw signs of grief for the man who will be sorely missed. Flags were flown at half mast; yellow and orange (his political party colour) ribbons were tied around trees and lamp posts and his campaign signs were randomly posted around town.
More than we would admit in life, he moved us more in his passing ... the reality that a light had been extinguished; a powerful, socially conscious voice silenced. Canadians seem to be thirsty for vision and hope for a better country - a country of greater equality, justice and opportunity. He fought tirelessly for those ideals, and in the throes of his dying, he reached out to assure us all that hope was not extinguished, but that change for the world we want to live in could be ours to create.
Every once in a while a person comes along who can touch the hearts of the collective and remind us of the fairest face of humanity.
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.”
- Arundhati Roy