Inspiration from Tommy Douglas

Last Thursday seems a lifetime ago in this world gone mad. That was the day that we said goodbye to my friend Sharlene Hertz. Sharlene was the spark that kept the Delbrook Community Association – one of my distractions – going. She was a lifelong New Democrat and political advocate.

At her service, her family brought forth a couple of her favourite quotes from Tommy Douglas. I’d had no idea the seventh premier of Saskatchewan and the father of universal health care in Canada was so quotable. This one struck a chord for me:

We should never, never be afraid or ashamed about dreams. The dreams won’t all come true; we won’t always make it; but where there is no vision a people perish. Where people have no dreams and no hopes and aspirations, life becomes dull and a meaningless wilderness.

Tommy Douglas

In the model railroading context, the Canada Atlantic Railway in Proto:87 has been something of a dream for me. I may not make it, but I keep pushing forward toward my vision. Chasing this dream has made this hobby a source of endless learning and development, a life that has been as interesting and meaningful as you can get when playing with trains.

Sometimes I am ready to throw in the towel. Starting from nothing is an often daunting experience, and looking back at the handful of models I have actually completed does not fill me with satisfaction. However, considering the skills I have gained, the problems I have solved, the people I have met, it is a different story. The next time I am dispirited by my progress, I will remember that the goal is not to accumulate stuff, but to live a compelling and full life. Dreams make that possible.

5 thoughts on “Inspiration from Tommy Douglas

  1. An inspiring quote that I was not aware of, from a remarkable man who gave Canada so much. I’m a New Democrat supporter, too.

    Steve Lucas

    1. Thanks Steve. Here’s another good one that I can get behind: “’My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.”

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