Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Remember the Man, Not the Icon

A lot of people are mourning, but not as many of them are mourning Jack Layton.

Instead of mourning the man, many are mourning an image that didn't exist. Jack Layton was a good person, he was a good husband, he was a good father, but instead of remembering who he was, many are mourning who their sadness wants to distort.

It's unclear why the emotion makes humans exaggerate those who have passed, perhaps it's from guilt of not treasuring them when they were alive, but this is not the first occurrence of creating an idol and this will certainly not be the last.

The NDP Leader was a great person for devoting his life to public service, but to mourn the man, and not some false image, people must remember his achievements and not distort them.

People can have an opinion that Jack Layton was a hero, they can say he made great legislative breakthroughs, they can even say he was an icon, but I will do Jack Layton a far greater service, and remember who he actually was.

I will remember that he talked of his children with joy and pride. I will remember his public displays of affection with his wife Olivia Chow that showed a love that even political life could not threaten. I will remember his youthful determination in fighting for his party and for Canada.

Jack Layton was certainly no devil, but he was also no god. He may not have been Prime Minister, he may not have been responsible for creating many laws or programs, but the things he did do, as a father, as a husband, and as a politician make the man, a man who I will miss.

I will not mourn Jack Layton the illusory icon, I will mourn Jack Layton the man.

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