Friday, August 26, 2011

The Jack Nation and the Promised Land

I found the sight of Jack Layton leaving the House of Commons for the last time incredibly moving.

The cannons blasting, the people clapping, the bells playing "Imagine."

And when the funeral cortege crossed the bridge into Quebec, so Jack could say a last goodbye to Quebecers, I had to turn my head away so my co-workers wouldn't think I cry easily.

But then tonight I saw this.

And my spirit soared because now I know that the Jack Nation is EVERYWHERE.

That something is happening out there.

And that it could change Canadian politics in ways most people cannot IMAGINE.

Because these words have fallen like rain on a desert.

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.

And I agree with Stephen Lewis, who will deliver Jack's eulogy.

"That's what's so fascinating about the phenomenon of Jack Layton. Everybody feels that he's a friend — and a friend that they would willingly follow," Lewis observed. "Beyond the sadness and pain of his death — and it is an incomparable loss — there will lie a legacy which continues. I really feel that."

I know it's fashionable in Canada to sneer at emotion. And to regard people like me, as hopelessly idealistic or naive.

But I don't care eh? Because I was born into a bigoted world, so I never had a choice but to struggle for a better one, or a Promised Land.

And although I might not cry easily, I am proud to wear my heart on my sleeve. I feel sorry for those who can't. For why should they fear death when they are dead already?

And long before I even heard of Jack Layton, I had another hero.

And these mighty words, the night before he was murdered, compelled me to fight the bigots and the bullies...

Did you see that tiny rainbow? That's what hope means to me. My Promised Land is a kinder, gentler, fairer world.

I want to get there so much. Just like Jack did, but couldn't. So we will get there for him.

Yup. Some people and some words CAN move mountains.

The Jack Nation is born. And even in the darkness of Harperland.

Hope has returned to Canada...


janfromthebruce said...

wow Simon - so moved - Jack nation

Simon said...

hi Jan...I'm glad you liked it. Just like I'm rather fond of the words Jack Nation. I know it sounds a bit like the Ford Nation. *Shudder* But Jack was, and we are, so much better than that... :)