This morning I finished listening to an episode of the CBC‘s The Best of Ideas podcast on my way to work. It was a lecture given by June Callwood in 2002, replayed as a tribute to her, since she passed away on April 14. June Callwood was a well-noted, much acclaimed journalist and interviewer, for which she has received many awards and recognitions.
What I find most inspiring about Callwood though, is not her awards, but her tireless efforts on behalf of some of Canada’s most vulnerable: the poor, the homeless, women, children. Callwood never ceased to work to make the world a better place, and she never gave up hope either. She always faced injustice head-on, and never seemed to hesitate to tell people the truth, even if it was harsh. She was bold, courageous, and hard-hitting. She founded shelters and hospices. She was a founding member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union.
And she believed in people. That, I think, is what amazes me the most about her. In what I’ve read by her and about her, the interviews I read, seen and heard, through all of it she still believes in the value of every single person and believes that together, through simple acts, we can transform the world.
I have deep respect for people like June Callwood who speak and act boldly in their lives. Listening to her speak while I was on the train this morning, I nearly cried, because what she said was so powerful and honest, and because we as Canadians have lost an important, treasured voice. I hope that I can learn how to write, speak, and act boldly. I hope we all learn much from the wisdom of June Callwood.