Gord Downie, Our Very Own Canadian Legend
by Kevin D. Crone
Canada stood still the morning of Wednesday, October 18th. On hearing of his passing, I thought of what Gord Downie meant to Canada. He got us to see Canada in a different light than what we were brought up to think. He saw Canada as a great exotic place… so very special. He saw us, Canadians, as down-to-earth, funny, unique, special people. He enjoyed the local fare no matter where he was in Canada. In his songs and chatter, he poetically brought to life all the funny nuances about each area in Canada. We began to appreciate ourselves more. He taught us how to endure, to accept this so very large, sometimes very cold place.
We don’t have to aggressively win for the sake of winning. We endure. We are strong.
I love Canada for its people too. We don’t desire too much ego. We just like doing things that are important to us… like hanging out, laughing at ourselves, hanging in and being with family. Everyone knew Gord, for we all knew a Canadian like him. We relate to Gord. We don’t care what others think outside of Canada. Outsiders won’t get it. We do. He was just himself. Canadians love down to earth people who are themselves.
How do you play out the last chapter of your life? Like Gord did! We should live every day like it is. Spend time with people who are important to you. Give more to your craft. Talk and lead about important issues. Gord realized there is no dress rehearsal for life. You get one shot. He seemed to live his last chapter like he did all of his life. Full out real. Like the conversations you have with your best friends and/or family. From Kingston to being a bar band in every burg, to being so important to the real Canadians who loved him.
Many of my son’s generation bought big speakers for their field bonfire parties because of Gord. My son and his band turned our shed in the front of our country property into a very rough looking studio so they could emulate The Hip. My son, who is a musician, is probably shedding a tear right now for his great close iconic friend. Everyone in his generation sees Gord as a great friend and cool guy.
The Tragically Hip is Canada. Gord contributed to how we see ourselves.
Whether we’re drinking beer around a campfire, enjoying hockey, the thrill you get from doing your job, it’s all about appreciating the complex game of life.
Gord was a great friend, father and musician. He put in the same effort to all areas of his life. It’s all the same for us. It’s hard sometimes, but it can be tragically hip!
Let’s give thanks for being Canadian.
Let’s keep our specialness glorified.
So, as you hoist one, think of Gord, turn it up loud.
Enjoy your life. Live full out and real. Be that guy.
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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