It’s rare to see people react with such sadness to an event that was as predicted as Jack Layton’s tragic passing. We all heard his voice and saw the cake makeup on his face in his last press conference and yet his optimistic attitude that so captured our national attention in the recent federal election made us all believe that if ANYONE could beat cancer again it would be Jack.
You may not agree with his politics or even his approach but there was something about his attitude that was truly contagious. It woke us up in the final stages of another dull conservative VS liberal election and made us think that this guy could be Prime Minister.
Why? The NDP platform hadn’t changed. Their tactics hadn’t evolved. His party wasn’t much more electable. It was Jack – his sheer will to lead, his optimism for unprecedented results for his party, and his hope for a better Canada that inspired a cynical country.
And that is why his optimism matters – he translated his personal optimism into hope for a nation.
His final missive sums it up best:
“My friends, love is better than anger. Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world” – Jack Layton, August 20, 2011.
Words for us all to embrace and live by.