It’s been a few days since my last post. Sometimes life just gets in the way of this new addiction called blogging. During the last few days, I have however, found the time to read many of the blogs I am following. I am especially enjoying one in particular. It’s well written and speaks to the issues that many people throughout both Canada and the United States are facing each day in a world that seems to have more and more struggle for folks then finding ways to make things better for our communities and our families. You will find this blog here. It’s an interesting read into the life trials that many face. You will find a twist of humour, mixed in with a dose of reality of how one family deals with the struggle and worry of uncertain economic times.
All of this makes one wonder how can we make our world a little better. In August of 2011, Canada lost one of its greatest voices for change and hope. Jack Layton was the leader of Canada’s Federal New Democratic Party. In the spring of 2011, he made history when he came very close to becoming Prime Minister of this great country, Canada. During that election campaign, Mr. Layton inspired and gave many Canadians hope that we could do better and we could change the political landscape of this country and thereby change the plight of working people from shore to shore. Mr. Layton or ‘Jack’ as he was known to many gave us hope and he gave us a vision and showed us “ideals” that we had thirsted for, he offered a fundamentally different way to view Canada’s political future. He allowed us to realize that we could bring change to our world.
Two days before he succumbed to cancer he wrote a letter to all Canadians. In his eulogy, the great Stephen Lewis said this about the letter “…. the letter was, at its heart, a manifesto for social democracy. And if there was one word that might sum up Jack Layton’s unabashed social democratic message, it would be generosity. He wanted, in the simplest and most visceral terms, a more generous Canada”.
Mr. Layton’s letter spoke to those suffering from cancer and asked them to have hope, he spoke to young Canadians about their desire for change and how they were the future of this country and that they must continue to believe in their power to bring about change and lastly he spoke to all Canadians regardless of their political beliefs.
He told Canadians that “Canada is a great country. One of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change.” In his last few words that Mr. Layton spoke to Canadians, he closed his letter off with a vision to change the world. He wrote “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. You can find Mr. Layton’s letter here.
I would like to close off today’s entry with the words of a song from Canadian Country Artist Johnny Reid. This song, which you may have heard is simply titled “Today I’m gonna try and change the world”:
Today I’m gonna try and change the world, Gonna take it one day at a time
I’ve made my resolution I’ve opened up my eyes, Today I’m gonna try and change the world
I’m gonna say hello to my neighbor gonna greet him with a smile
Shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while
Gonna tell someone I love them, from the bottom of my heart
Today I’m gonna try to change the world
Gonna make sure my children, Know right from wrong.
Never turn my back, On those who need someone
Always gonna try to see myself, Through another’s eyes,
Today I’m gonna try to change the world