Jack Layton to Canadians: “Be Loving, Hopeful and Optimistic”


On Monday, Shannon McKarney shared the sad news of Jack Layton’s death on Care2. Layton, who was the leader of the New Democratic Party and the leader of the official opposition, was a much loved politician in Canada. In fact, his leadership is credited as one of the key factors in his party’s significant showing in the Spring 2011 election.

During his final days, Layton prepared a letter to Canadians in the event that he did not win his second battle against cancer. After Layton passed away in his home Monday morning, his wife and fellow politician Olivia Chow made the letter public.  In the letter, Layton thanked Canadians for their well wishes and expressed his preferences for succession plans within the NDP. He also passed on words of advice and thanks to fellow cancer patients, members of the NDP, NDP members of parliament, Quebecers, young Canadians and finally, to all Canadians.

Layton ended his letter by reminding Canadians to not let anyone say that it cannot be done. His final words, which have been much quoted across traditional and social media over the past 24 hours, were:

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.

If we all live by these words, perhaps we do have a chance of changing the world. But it will take more than just NDP supporters or even all Canadians to bring that change about. We need the world to embrace this philosophy. Will you join us?

Related stories:

Jack Layton Dies of Cancer

Jack Layton Temporarily Stepping Down To Battle Cancer

Canada Has Voted and It Isn’t Pretty: Conservative Majority

Photo credit: mattjiggins on flickr


Odile M.
Odile M5 years ago

To Robert O. He might not have done anythng that you might have wanted....BUT he made the everyday person feel like we had a fighting chance to make a difference and made Canada a better country.....He was a regular person and if you know that, that is what makes him a GREAT MAN!!! NOT all people are alike that is what makes the world a different place.....

A person takes the media and believes what they want from it.....NOT all of us believe in ALL of the BS that comes out of there mouths from the media....After living in Texas and having to hear from the likes of George Bush before he became President all he talked about was making his RICH oil buddies even richer....and so on....Look what he did the the states...that enough proof....Mr Layton was for the everyday person the Middle Class, Low Income and so on....NOT the Rich People....wanting them to become richer then already are...That makes Mr Layton a REAL PERSON!!!!!!

Deborah P.
Intuitive S5 years ago

I just read : Across town at the Layton home, Cheuk Kwan, a longtime friend of Chow's, said he was "really saddened" by Layton's death even if it was not unexpected.

"I thought Jack had done a superhuman job of bringing the NDP to where it is right now," Kwan said.

Asiatic Lion
Asiatic Lion5 years ago


Suzanne H.
Suzanne H5 years ago

Better words have never been spoken...............He will be missed.

Deborah P.
Intuitive S5 years ago

Yes indeed, Odie, a great man. You know what this means... he's not fighting for us anymore... we've got to step up and inspire others, really do this. We can't let his fight be for people who won't do this for themselves....

Deborah P.
Intuitive S5 years ago

He was too young.... it seemed like his spirit really wanted to stay with us a lot longer. But perhaps he was tired... he fought a lot. He wasn't the green party, but he sure as heck fought for the environment. Listen to this.. one more video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xLtSup_yj8&feature=related

Deborah P.
Intuitive S5 years ago

I, as well as others, are so sorry to lose him. He was a wonderful advocate for the everyday person & the environment as well. Take a look at his videos on youtube. Here is a wonderful bit, one of many:

Robert O.
Bob B5 years ago

The death of Mr. Layton is sad because he was too young to die, and it was cancer that killed him. That is always sad to see, no matter who dies.

But Mr. Layton was just a politician who did nothing noteworthy in his life except get elected a few times. That's all he did.

He did not contribute anything of value such as an invention, a cure for some illness, a work of art, some good science, or anything else. He was just a politician.

The great outpouring of grief over Mr. Layton's death can only be described as mass hysteria whipped up by certain elements of the media.

It just shows how easily people can be herded around like cattle.

As for Mr. Layton's last letter - it was a political statement written by his political advisers
who are using it and this sad 'event' as a fund raiser. That should disgust anyone who truly mourns the death of a good person like Mr. Layton.

Odile M.
Odile M5 years ago

Yes Canada has LOST a GREAT MAN!!!!

I am an American who has been living in Canada for the last 15 years.....When first time I heard of Jack Layton and finally got to hear him speak and that was locally in Toronto I was
VERY impressive. For the first time in the 30 years that I was able to vote I finally heard a politican speak for the REAL PEOPLE...not just for there rich buddies. The more I got to hear
him speak and watch what he could do for the real people I fell in love with a REAL person who was a in a political office and was doing real things for real people....WOW....What am amazing thing and a amazing person he was.

"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." What wonderful words to be remember by an Honorable, Caring, Giving and Humble Man.

No matter what people might say about him whether his did not live by what he would say.....
it does not matter. He has been the only man in about 45 years of history in Canada to bring the whole country together no matter what there party lines are to make us all feel like we had a chance for a better Canada......Now I call that a GREAT Man....

Jack Layton you will be missed by thousands of people no matter what walk of life we come from.....

Andrew Carvin5 years ago

A great man was lost. :(