“One of Us” Has to Be All of Us

Leonard Cohen wrote, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Jo Cox, British parliamentarian, mother, daughter, spouse, community member and a true friend to all. We are pleased to share Kim Samuel’s latest article, “One of Us” Has to Be All of Us. Jo was murdered in the place she loved doing the work she loved. To celebrate Jo’s life, neighbours across the United Kingdom are coming together over the next three days for The Great Get Together, one of the most ambitious and joyful street parties in modern memory, inspired by Jo’s belief that “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”

Tomorrow marks the two-week anniversary of the death of Christine Archibald, a 30 year-old social worker from Canada who was murdered in the London Bridge terror attack. Treasured by her family and everyone who knew her, Christine devoted herself to serving the most marginalized of the marginalized, homeless women and men with drug and alcohol additions. In the midst of their tremendous grief, her family humbly asks people to “Please honour her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter,” and to “Tell them Chrissy sent you.” This gesture spawned the hashtag #ChrissySentMe leading to meaningful contributions and conversations.

Both of these remarkable young women shine on as beacons of light that found their way through cracks in the darkness. We honour and celebrate them and take inspiration from what they stood for and how they lived their lives. But Kim believes we must go even deeper in giving homage — to take the lessons of their lives as a much-needed opportunity to rethink what “community” should actually mean, to make sure we include not only our neighbours or others whom we might refer to as “people like us”, but also to reach across divides, especially to people who won’t be at The Great Get Together, or any get together. We must actively honour everyone’s right to belong. Not just on special days but every day. This is the path forward to healing not just for “one of us” but for “all of us.”