Perhaps the extreme sense of loss we Canadians are experiencing at the death of Jack Layton is that we think Jack’s “time at bat” – to use baseball terminology – was cut short before he’d rounded the bases?
Perhaps his death at the relatively young age of 61 will spur others to concentrate on what carried him through the length and breadth of his political career? Jack’s priorities were simple. They’ve been lauded throughout the ages in religious writings, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoirs and ordinary everyday conversations. Our heroes have always been those who raise the quality of life of fellow human beings who happen to be underpriveleged and/or suffering from debilitating circumstances.
Jack’s principles were those that most of us would like to adhere to. When times were tough in the old days people actually enjoyed helping one another. They communicated and shared what they had. Oldtimes still recall the spirit of “the good old days” during the Great Depression of the nineteen-thirties.
Canadian politicians need to know that what most of us REALLY want is to assist others who are in various states of distress. We may whine and complain that we don’t have enough; but there is a deep psychological need inside each and everyone of us to assist our fellow human beings. The happiest people are those who willingly give up on that third car or bigger house, to help others.
Or like Rick Hansen did- wheelchaired around the world to assist others who were in the same circumstances as he was (Had to put that in – Rick Hansen is my favorite Canadian hero!)
We must shout it loud and clear so that the present and future generations of politicians can hear us: please assist those amongst us who are downtrodden. That needs to be a priority.
It was Jack Layton’s priority.