Like people touched by adoption, we Canadians think a lot about defining our identity. We are sure we aren’t Americans and we believe in universal healthcare but past that sometimes it gets a little fuzzy.
We suffered a loss recently here in Canada. The person we lost was the leader of the opposition in parliament. He knew who we are as a country, he had no doubt. He had vision for how good we could be and he fought hard for that vision. He believed in us. He died on Monday.
I put some flowers in front of his house yesterday. It was a small Toronto house, a lot like my own. There was no security, although all the curtains were closed. The front porch was covered in flowers and there was a condolence book to sign.
People in Canada, regardless of their politics, believed him to be an ethical man. They also believed he sincerely cared about them and their lives.
So much did he care about us all that he wrote us a letter when he knew he wasn’t going to win his fight with cancer. It was to be released after his death.
The letter has struck a chord with everyone. Particularly the last paragraph. If you look closely at the sketch of him above the words of the last paragraph are written there. Within hours they had been inscribed on a poster which is available at very little cost. He said:
Love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And together we will change the world.
And that, of course, made me think about adoption. Sometimes there is a lot of anger. Sometimes there is a lot of fear. And while there may not be despair there is sometimes a lack of faith. A deficit of optimism. And that’s too bad.
I promised myself I would only post once a month but the events that I have described here coupled with what has been going on at First Mother Forum (link to the right) has made me think that even though I just posted on Sunday, the time to post this is now not in late September.
I guess this is an Unsigned Masterpiece special edition.
If those of you who aren’t from Canada want to know more about this man, google “Jack Layton” or “Jack Layton’s last letter” and you will see why we in Canada are so sad. We have lost someone special. Someone who wanted to help us all do and be better.
So let us all try to do a little better because he is right, love is better than anger.