You moved us Jack
Over the last few days I’ve spent a few hours on CPAC watching the diversity of people in this great land show their final respects to Jack. At times, I have been moved to tears by the love and respect shown by people from all walks of life, testifying to the greatness of this man whose simple dedication (like Mother Teresa) to making their lives better was his life long goal and mission. In this modern, selfish and egotistical world that is a great accomplishment and testament.
I was especially moved by my Japanese brothers and sisters who in bowing three times in front of Jack’s casket expressed the highest respect shown in their culture to those they wish to honour. The ones who gave a simple salute or final farewell wave, or sign of the cross or those who prostrated themselves, all moved me with their acts of humbleness and respect. The mosaic of what makes up Canada: Native, French, English, Chinese, black, brown… the old, the young, families they all came to say their final farewell to someone they had grown to love and admire. A rare man (politician, no less) they came to know who really cared about them and their struggles, in addressing the lack of fairness and equality in our present system.
Jack moved people in so many ways to be better than what we are, and that one does not have to accept the status quo but can demand and work towards a better world, where no one is left behind.
So many already have written glowing tributes to Jack. It was not my intention to do that here. Rather, I’m trying to come to gripes with why people loved and respected him so? What I have come up with is that he was a simple man who did not believe in boundaries that separate people, but in inclusiveness instead. To many different types of people and groups Jack became a symbol of hope and champion of their battles and struggles, a man who did not discriminate against people but rejoiced in their diversity and made them feel they not only counted and were being listened to, but whose battles he was also fighting on their behalf. To me, Jack was a samurai warrior (less the violence) having a Buddhist heart and mind.
In a world where most people feel alone, Jack represented a friend who not only cared but who in fighting on your behalf gave you hope that tomorrow would be a brighter day. A true friend, one is lucky to have maybe once or twice in a life-time. Today, we all lost a real friend and knowing this we celebrate the life we shared with this man and the regrets mixed with grief in knowing he will be no more in our lives, but only in our memories. But whose dreams for a better world will still live on in all of us, if we just remember… “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.