Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done!
Posted by E on August 22, 2011
Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and leader of the Official Opposition, has lost his battle with cancer.
It is hard to put into words how significant a loss this is for Canada. Whether you voted NDP or not, Layton was universally admired for his sheer determination and devotion to Canadians — families, gay people, seniors, the impoverished — everyone who needed help. He genuinely believed we could lift each other up and create a fairer society. And he showed us all that when you believe, miracles can happen. The results of the Canadian elections that placed his party in a historically-unparalleled position were the fruits of his vision and hard work — and produced a victory that he only was able to enjoy for three months.
It has been a toxic year tainted by the disgusting spectacle of British politicians rushing to distance themselves from the corrupt media empire they had helped to create; revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere that provided hope which was quickly extinguished once it was clear youth, women, and moderate voices would have nothing to do with the new order; America brought to the economic brink by petty partisan bickering and a rabid right wing; London burning ostensibly over a police shooting but looters gone wild, torching their own neighbourhood and leaving hundreds of innocent people homeless. I have not even touched the economic roller coaster and the repulsive charade of bank bailouts followed by enormous-bonuses-as-usual on Wall Street.
Amid all this toxicity, negativity, and despair, Jack Layton had this to say from his deathbed:
“… consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
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.”
Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
Amid the shameful circus of global politics, Jack Layton was a rare genuine spirit, the epitome of public service, and someone straightforward and most of all, real.
I am going to repeat Jack’s words many times to myself, and resolve to borrow from his stubborn, effervescent, indomitable spirit in this dark hour.
Rest in peace, Jack.