On my second day in Montreal, my parked Ford Taurus was hit by another car, the driver of which was programming her GPS. The cars were totaled, but in both the everyday and grand scheme of things, the accident’s fall-out was minimal: no-one was hurt, we were both insured, and my car was merely a luxury.
Five days ago, Alexandra Dodger – a treasured daughter, granddaughter and friend to so many, a social justice activist, a 27-year old, a human rights advocate, and a recent graduate of McGill’s Law Faculty – was hit by a car while crossing an Ottawa street on foot. The car was traveling the wrong way down a one-way street. In every possible scheme of things, the consequences could not have been more significant: Alex died.
I know Alex only through the words spoken and written about her since her death. From those words, I know that Alex lived a life that we should celebrate and aspire to – a life of commitment, of family and friends, of sincerity, passion and learning; a life of aspiration and inspiration, of community, love and accountability; a life in pursuit of justice.
Life’s brevity and injustices should, without a doubt, compel us to seize each day. But, they must also remind us that every day, our actions and our words make (often unseen) differences (mundane and tragic, positive and negative, quiet and loud) in others’ lives. Our shared humanity requires that we live – and seize the day – accordingly.