Courage to Endure

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Reflections on the Passing of Councillor Owen Dickie


I have to say that the passing of Owen and its circumstances have left me a bit tender in many ways. I think I’d like to say that, although I would not choose to end my life like he did, I find it courageous and very Owenish. He was definitely something else. And in a many ways, I found him refreshing. Indeed I am going to miss him, and with him his emails, his bluntness and daily interactions. I will also certainly miss his integrity and honesty. He truly walked the talk even when I may not have agreed with him. At least he was man enough to tell it in my face. And for this reason, I think, I liked him and came to respect him and appreciate him. He was not arrogant like some politicians I have known throughout my life. He truly cared and that is what makes the difference.

I am a man of strong beliefs and faith and yet I am a man indeed with faults and weaknesses. Although I have a sense within myself of where I think we go after this life is over, I am still sad and disappointed somewhat. To those who do not have a belief, and Owen may have been one of them, I say (and strongly encourage) to truly ponder on life and its purpose. Spirituality does not have to be organized (although there is a strong purpose in organized spirituality – one that I support wholeheartedly) but it is important. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl taught that those, like him, who lived in Nazi concentration camps, who had a sense of purpose in life were able to withstand the horrors of their condition and to survive better, and most of the time also successfully, through their ordeal.

Well, I think that Owen would like me to tell you that life is worth living to the fullest and that we need to look inside, outside and upside for answers that sometimes we do not wish to have and that may scare us. I hope to be as courageous as he was in the face of the ultimate challenge. I know at least I have hope. Don’t be afraid to search for answers, to doubt your doubts, to add meaning to your life. Owen made the world around him better because he believed in his own purpose.

“And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they fight and quarrel one with another.But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish” (Mosiah 4:13-16 – The Book of Mormon).



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