Rob Ford has passed away today at the age of 46. As death will come to each and every one of this, I feel very empathetic to his family and friends in their time of loss. I think one consistent trait that we do as human beings is edify people who have passed away, out of respect for their memory or legacy. So it is not my intent to drag Ford's legacy down. I think the way Rob Ford lived his life will dictate his own legacy.
However, as people write about his death and memorialize him, I cannot stand by, idly quiet and not call a spade a spade without apologizing that it's black and pointy.
When Rob Ford was elected, the first thing I thought was, "If he cannot manage his own obese body, how can he be expected to manage the 10 million people in the Greater Toronto Area?" As these things go, the spotlight was again and again thrust in Ford's face, where he failed over and over. He was caught up in scandal after scandal, appeared drunk in numerous video clips, didn't represent the people of Toronto in the Gay Pride Parade, which is the single biggest festival revenue generator Toronto has. He didn't represent the people of Toronto, he represented them when he agreed with them in his own morality. He lied, he cheated, he was ejected as Mayor, which he won back on a technicality upon appeal. He was many things to Toronto, but showing his individual ego and pride was the one thing which showed up. Simply put, it was all about him, and he alienated himself with his limitations. Only when confronted and backed into a corner, did he appear to be vulnerable and honest.
Rob Ford simply didn't have the tools in his life to go under the microscope, and survive the turmoil of how misogynistic and homophobic he was. I think winning the election to be Mayor probably put him under so much stress it eventually took a toll on his body, and lead to his eventual death.
I believe the city of Toronto deserved better than what Rob Ford could offer. That's not slighting Ford in any capacity that he served. It means that it takes a certain kind of personality, and charisma to be an elite leader. Being Mayor of Toronto is almost the equivalent to leading the populations of Denmark, Norway and Finland combined. That's a serious responsibility. So a leader with the issues Ford demonstrated just doesn't or couldn't effectively serve the people who elected him because he hadn't done the work on himself. If you can't help yourself, you can't help anybody.
On the other hand, a Father, Husband, Son, Brother and man has passed on. I hope that Rob Ford found peace in his final moments in this life. I hope he found forgiveness, and Love. I wish that for every human being in their Journey, because none of us are getting out of this alive.
Yet I think it's important to learn from examples. Good or bad, Rob Ford left me with great examples.
To where you are, Rob Ford. God speed in your next Journey.