Gord Downie - A great Canadian and even better Human

Source: Evan Mitsui/CBC

Today Canada and the world lost a great humanitarian.  Gord Downie, lead vocalist of The Tragically Hip, and the voice of the Canadian Soundtrack, lost his battle with cancer.

Cancer sucks.

His music will forever be revered, but his efforts to correct the wrongs that Indigenous people have suffered through for centuries should never be forgotten, and my prayer is that we all will continue that work.

I wrote a post earlier this summer, which discussed the Hip's last concert in May 2016.  That concert united Canada, based on the volumes of people that watched the concert live.

Rest in Peace, Humanitarian.

 

Top 10 Reasons Tragically Hip’s last concert Is a Life Lesson For Us All

Tonight CBC is showing the Tragically Hip's final concert from Kingston, Ontario. For those outside of Canada, the lead vocalist for The Hip, Gord Downie announced in last May that he has terminal brain cancer.

It’s hard to imagine the moment when Gord heard that news. Likely it was in a doctor’s office which we all know can feel like a cold, antiseptic place.

For people that are diagnosed with a terminal disease, there’s a whirlwind of emotions that come to mind:

“I won’t get to see my kids grow up”

“I won’t get to go on that vacation to <insert dream locale here>”

“I wish I would have done more of <insert anything here>”

“Why me?”

Mr. Downie may have had these thoughts. But somewhere along the way, he decided instead of staying home, spending time with family, or preparing for his untimely end, he decided to celebrate his talents and head out on the road for a tour.

That tour ended in Kingston.

Gord’s unselfish decision to tour with The Hip shows what he thinks about his fans, his country, and the music.

Here’s 10 reasons why tonight’s concert provides life lessons for us all:

  1. Appreciate every moment in your life. While I hope you never have that meeting with your physician telling you that you have a terminal condition. We all come with expiry dates. Act like that, and cherish every moment.
  2. Life is to be celebrated. You have talents that are special to you. I hope that you know what they are, but if you don’t, keep searching. The world needs you, and what you have to give.
  3. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory” Dr. Seuss. Live in the moment. Be mindful of your daily lives. Don’t live on auto-pilot.
  4. “The trouble is that you think you have time” Buddha. Gord didn’t think a year ago that he may pass away in the near future. No one does. If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, do it. Don’t wait.
  5. Celebrate your mistakes. Your life and accomplishments are built on not only what you’ve done well, but what you’ve royally screwed up.
  6. Forgive. Don’t carry a grudge against ANYONE. I don’t care what they did to you, or how it made your life Hell. Guess what? Carrying that burden continues the pain of whatever that person did or said. Let it go.
  7. Invest in others. Your ancestor’s ancestor’s ancestor’s (etc.) invested in their children. You’re here because of that investment. Repeat often.
  8. Invest in yourself. Never stop learning. Be the best you can be, and if you have a gift like Gord Downie does, share it with as many as you can.
  9. Have fun along the way. No matter what struggles you may be facing, or could potentially face in the near future, don’t fret them. Have fun. Enjoy your life.
  10. Smile. We don’t smile as much as we used to.

Enjoy the concert, and all the best wishes to Gord, his family, and his ever loyal fans and friends. Everytime you go.

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