Jack Layton's final public words: "Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear."

Jack Layton, the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, died yesterday. Jack knew he was going, and so he wrote a beautiful, stirring open letter to Canada, to his party, to his caucus, and to the world. Here are his last public words: "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."

Jack Layton's letter to Canadians


  1. So wonderful that Boingboing is paying tribute to this great man. 

    Oh Jack, we’re going to miss you.  RIP

  2. Never before have I shed actual tears and felt such stinging grief after a political figure’s passing. For many years, most of my life really, I had regarded politicians and the democratic process with cynicism and desillusion. Jack Layton had managed to rekindle my hope and optimism. At last, here was a leader who was charismatic, human and unabashedly positive with none of it being the usual glib buzztalk. His last letter was the ultimate demonstration of that earnestness.

    He had a few precious hours left to enjoy his loved ones, his last rays of sun, the sound of music… and he dedicated many of them to his compatriots and his country. This act is still sinking in for me. He really cared.  He was the real deal.

    His last words showed his yearning for a legacy of hope. That’s why I must not fall back into my usual civic cynicism and despair. I must hope that us Canadians will ride the wave that was created, that we won’t let these words fade away and be forgotten save in history books. We’re a great nation, but we can be much better. We can care more. We can be neighbours, we can be friends, we can be family.

    Let’s do it for each other. Let’s do it for Jack.

  3. It is incredibly sad that a man with such a gift for social responsibility and human connection has died. 

    Shit! He was the same age as me!

    I would really like it if young people –say less than 60?!– could get their act together and make all the right things happen.

    You can do it: you know that you can!

  4. Canadian politics is no doubt as full of frauds, sociopaths and dunderheads as US politics but it seems like when Canadian Decency comes through in the character of a politician, they seem less like hacks and more like statesmen. We’re a little short on that right now in the US.

    But this letter reminded me of another font of wisdom: Mammy Yokum of Li’l Abner who famously said “Good is better than Evil because it’s nicer.”

  5. I lived in the Broadview and Dundas area and hated it with a passion. Moved from there 31 years ago.It became Chinese and I have a great respect for the Chinese. Was really shocked to hear Jack Layton had his office at Broadview and Dundas. Jack was a good man. 

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