Tuesday, August 23, 2011

People Are People

Why is it that as human beings it takes one of us to die to realize just how little time we are truly given? 

I mean, we're all intelligent, vibrant and capable human beings.  Yet, we do so little with our time on this earth.  Some of us choose to do nothing at all.  Then there are the worst ones of all:  Those of us who complain daily about how hard and unfair life is, so that we can make excuses for not being all we can be.  Those of us who always pity ourselves for the hand we've been dealt and blame our past environments for all that we failed to do or become.  We all know just how precious life is and how on a dime your entire world can change.  Yet, we never choose to stop the insanity and just live. 

This blog thought stems from the recent passing of Jack Layton.  To many, he was just a political figure with a friendly face and style to politics.  However, to most he was a courageous man who had a goal:  To make this country great!  It's been a long time since we've had someone who actually cared about "the greater good" and I for one believe that it's a grave loss for Canada, in so many ways. 

Despite his personal battles, his drive for a better democracy was all he spoke of.  He performed well during his campaign, always demonstrating incredible energy, enthusiasm and optimism.  Against all odds, he believed that with our help WE (not he) could make this country all it was meant to be.  See, it wasn't about him.  He never believed that it was about a leader, but rather the people who could change a nation. 

Even knowing that his end was near, he still took time over the weekend to meet with his officials and Chief of Staff to make plans for Canada's future without him.  He cared, not for himself but for those of us who remain, to live in this place.  How many of us would care in that state of mind or condition?  Would you?

I sat there motionless and utterly stunned when I heard of his passing, yesterday.  Surrounded by my family, as we enjoyed our vacation time together, I couldn't help but  stare at each one of them thinking:  " I'm not ready to go and leave any of them.  Nor am I ready for any of them to leave me".  Then, one of my own personal battles came to mind.  One I've been pushing away because it's been too hard to tackle.  It made me realize how many things we ( as people) would be missing out on if others simple decided to give up on their lives, because it was just too hard to change.  I thought about Mr. Layton and others who have not only changed our lives but in many ways shaped them.  It made me think about how much we put our friends and families through.  How important we are to them and how crucial it is to reach our highest potential, no matter how difficult the struggle to the road can be.

" Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.  No matter of human destiny is beyond human beings".  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Imagine if J.F.K decided not to pursue his belief that all human beings are equals, regardless of race/creed or colour; simply because it was too hard/scary to convince his country or the world otherwise.

" Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person"  Mother Teresa

"Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves"  Princess Diana 

 Imagine if Mother Teresa or Princess Diana decided not to use their influence and power for a greater good.  To educate the world that we must be humble and giving to others less fortunate. 

“I don’t feel that this is unfair. That’s the thing about cancer. I’m not the only one, it happens all the time to people. I’m not special. This just intensifies what I did. It gives it more meaning. It’ll inspire more people. I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try"  Terry Fox 

Imagine what kind of world it would be if Terry Fox decided to allow his disease to own his heart, mind and spirit.  That he would have allowed himself to simply become a prisoner, captive to his environment and never allowed a nation to see his strength. 

Imagine the greatness of these and all the others who have come both before and after them.  What they've done for both our inner and outer worlds.  Now imagine that none of them existed.  Sad isn't it?

If Terry Fox travelled across the country with one leg, battling his disease with  a smile on his face and a will in his heart to continue, then I can surely conquer the battles that currently lie within me.  If Jack Layton could spend his final day on earth making plans to better our futures, then I can make plans too.

I am truly grateful for these incredible individuals and for their strength to follow their dreams.  It is because of them that I live and strive for greatness.

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