There's something courageous about a flag at half-mast, especially against the blue of a summer sky. It's a combination of sadness and joy, probably the same combination of feelings so many of us are experiencing today, the day of Jack Layton's funeral.
The words of the letter he left for us have already been championed as a manifesto for change, as impetus to go forth and change the world to the better place we want it to be.
The CBC has taken his words to heart and put out the challenge on their website, How would you make the world a better place?
That might seem like an awfully big question, but it's manageable if each of simply looks within and asks, What will I do today to make the world a better place?
I'm taking Jack Layton's final thoughts seriously, especially the parts about Hope being better than fear, Optimism being better than despair.
One of my greatest hopes is that his death won't have been in vain. I'm hoping that it will serve as a rallying point for the Left to take a page from what the Conservatives have done (aligning the voices of the Right). I am optimistic that the various socially conscious factions -- be they NDP, Green or Liberal -- will find ways to heal their differences and join together.
Coming together seems like the greatest way to honour the memory of Jack, and the best of way of fulfilling his desire that we change the world. And what better time to start changing the world than now?
PS Lipstick Press has been honouring Jack Layton by posting poems.