Charla Huber: Layton’s dedication inspiring

Years ago during a job interview I was asked who inspires me. I was 16 years old and answered “Martin Luther King Jr.” When the sandwich shop owner asked me why, I told him that King stood up for what he believed in and wasn’t afraid to do so, even though he knew people wouldn’t agree with him.

Years ago during a job interview I was asked who inspires me. I was 16 years old and answered “Martin Luther King Jr.” When the sandwich shop owner asked me why, I told him that King stood up for what he believed in and wasn’t afraid to do so, even though he knew people wouldn’t agree with him.

Later I was talking to my friends about the interview and they told me I had made a mistake and should have said my mother inspired me. I got the job anyway.

I have always loved hearing people’s life stories. I guess that’s why I ended up becoming a journalist.

I never pass up the opportunity to read a memoir or watch a documentary on someone’s life. My favourite part of the job is going to someone’s house and listening to them talk about the successes and challenges in their life.

There are people whose lives have inspired me from afar, such as the innovative Henry Ford and fearless interview crafter Barbara Walters. There are people within the community I live and work in who inspire me as well.

When I woke up to the news of Jack Layton’s passing on Monday morning, I was deeply saddened. It felt rather symbolic that it was pouring rain, after numerous days of hot sun.

When I listened to Layton address the nation in his speeches, I admired his dedication to his cause, and his optimism.

It was his attitude that I admired. Even in his last letter to the people, that was very evident.

“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,” he wrote.

When I was covering the federal election back in May, I got goosebumps watching the NDP take 58 seats in Quebec. When the party became the Official Opposition, I felt so proud for the NDP and Layton. I knew I was witnessing history in the making.

I was covering a Liberal candidate and couldn’t help but clap to the TV screen when I watched the numbers come in.

For many years I have heard people talk about how the NDP would never reach that status, but it did. Layton believed it and I am so happy he was able to see his party make such an accomplishment before he passed away.

Whether we choose to vote for the NDP or not, Layton’s dedication can be admired by all.

I love watching passionate people work in their fields. I find it inspiring to see people with such drive and dedication. When I see someone who is successful, devoted and well-liked, I look at their strengths and qualities and hope to find that in myself.

In learning about Layton’s political career and hearing he made his start as a city councillor, I began to think about the dozens of councillors in Greater Victoria. That got me thinking about what amazing things they might achieve one day, not to mention the things they already have accomplished.

In November we will re-elect some councillors and give others a new start in municipal politics.

As part of my job I go to council meetings and watch mayors and councillors in action. I have been able to learn a lot about politics, procedure and process.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Even when politicians have a desire to make things better, it often takes a long time.

When I see councillors making decisions and voting on matters, I always admire those who make their decisions based on what the community has told them it wants, as opposed to the individual opinion of the councillor.

For his years of service to his community and nation, Layton will be remembered. Maybe it’s time we look at our local politicians and appreciate their passion, drive and optimism before it’s too late.

Charla Huber is a reporter with the Goldstream News Gazette.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read