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?
Photo credit: mattjiggins on flickr