I can’t promise this will be my last posting on this subject, because I find it fascinating, but I’m sure if you didn’t watch Jack Layton’s funeral yesterday, that you caught portions of it on the news.
There were so many wonderful things about it! The inclusivity was astounding – people from all walks of life were part of it – even Conservatives. 😉 The music was beautiful. I must say my very favourite moment came when Stephen Lewis called Layton’s last letter “a manifesto for social democracy”, and the audience rose to its collective feet, applauding. Mr. Harper, I believe, felt that it would look silly if he didn’t also stand. I think that Mr. Layton would find it deeply satisfying and wildly funny that he made Mr. Harper stand up for social democracy. I know I do.
I also like that the minister at the service was his own minister, from his own church, who knew him personally and truly cared for him. I found his words extremely moving. Secondary to that, though, was the fact that he was a member of the LGBT community. Layton supported that community before it was socially acceptable to do so – he went to bat for them and stood up for them when they were vilified by mainstream society, before it was cool to do so – because it was the right thing to do.
He was an all-weather friend to aboriginal people, women, gays and even musicians. Maybe even drummers, who knows?
I’ve never seen anything like this outpouring of feeling in Canada. I hope it’s the beginning of a deep sea-change. I hope his final words live on and touch all of our lives and our actions, and spur our youth to action to take the reins and create the world that they want. I hope that our leaders, regardless of their political stripe, take those words to heart. We have to start caring for each other and for the planet that contains us.