10 August 2011

Yvonne Jones: Profile in Courage

What does not kill you makes you stronger.

That must be the case.

Yvonne Jones is emerging from her battle with cancer with unrivalled moral strength even if her physical strength has been sapped to the point she must quit as leader of the provincial Liberal Party.

She worked through her cancer treatment, including returning to the House of Assembly before she was finished treatment. 

She went back to the floor of the legislature this past spring knowing the stream of abuse and invective – some of it savagely personal - the governing Conservatives heaped on her in the House continually for years would not let up.

The Tories, including the incompetent and biased Speaker did not fail to meet the lowest of low expectations.

To those familiar with the goings on in the House, few could fail to be impressed by Yvonne Jones. No matter what issues you disagreed with her on, there is not a single person in the province who could doubt Jones’ sincerity and the personal integrity she has in abundance.

Courage is not word people use often when speaking about politicians. But politicians are among the most courageous people there are in our province.

They often act against the weight of public opinion, against the approval of their colleagues from all parties, despite personal attacks, that wound them and their loved ones and despite often suffering from the simple human failing of wanting to do the right thing but of sometimes being uncertain in what direction that good really does lie.

The truly courageous ones, like Yvonne, don’t need to tell you how courageous they are. 

They don’t need to.

They simply are.

From the podium Tuesday, Yvonne Jones did not tell people about courage.

She showed them.

Jones showed the pain of her decision at her news conference.  But as she looked around the room, Jones very likely saw a group of people more optimistic for the future than they have been in years. 

Jones can take credit for a lot of that renewed strength of that rediscovered confidence. 

Real leaders lead best by example.

- srbp -