A green field beyond a wicker fence and flowering tree, Froxfield Green, England.
Farewell to Tony Benn, a man of great character, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of many, many people.
Tony Benn: A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine
Just before Christmas, I referenced a BBC Panorama documentary about the appalling manner in which Amazon.co.uk warehouse workers are treated. A woman of my acquaintance announced she would no longer have anything to do with me, as I was "always so angry." At first I was offended by Fiona's remark, particularly at a time when both my father and my husband were seriously ill. Then I realised Fiona doesn't really know me, nor does she appear to have much compassion for others. And she was trying to silence my voice, as she preferred to hear only "happy things" in her self-imposed comfort zone.
I hope I never stop being outraged - or trying to do something - about the inequities of this world. Tony Benn and his anger at injustice and inequality and his determined efforts to help others made a huge difference in Great Britain - and far beyond its borders.
As a child, I learned from observing Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Morris Dees that individuals working collectively can help change things for the better. As an adult this lesson of activism and social responsibility was reinforced by Tony Benn, the late King Hussein of Jordan, Nelson Mandela, Sen. Bernie Sanders and other courageous leaders. And I believe we have a moral imperative to speak out, wherever and whenever injustice thrives.
Tony Benn deserves our gratitude for crossing vast political divides, shining a light on injustice and championing the rights of those less fortunate. May his legacy long inspire others to follow in his footsteps and/or blaze a few trails of their own.
Listen to Tony Benn speaking to filmmaker Michael Moore about the National Health Service.