My own per­sonal Marvin Ca­plan story

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: The pain of com­ing out and the loss of a friend (Feb. 4)

After read­ing Deirdre Pike’s ar­ti­cle and her lovely trib­ute to the re­cently de­parted Marvin Ca­plan, I was re­minded of my own per­sonal story about the man.

As a teacher in the Catholic School Board, part of the ma­te­rial I taught cen­tred around Je­sus as a young Jewish boy and de­scribed the rit­u­als and cus­toms that he par­tic­i­pated in as part of his faith jour­ney. Some ques­tions from stu­dents left me a bit un­sure. I hap­pened to bump into Marvin after that and he was only too happy to visit my class to pro­vide more com­plete an­swers for my stu­dents.

It was typ­i­cal of Marvin’s gen­eros­ity and love for life that showed an­other ex­am­ple of his in­clu­siv­ity men­tioned in Pike’s op-ed and is echoed re­cently in mosques open­ing their doors to the broader com­mu­nity in the wake of the Que­bec shoot­ing. The more we learn about each other, the less we have to fear.

In the topsy-turvy world that we now in­habit, we need, now more than ever, this in­clu­siv­ity, com­mu­nity build­ing and, well, love for lack of a bet­ter world. Marvin em­bod­ied these lofty ideals every day and more good peo­ple need to speak up against hate, di­vi­sive­ness and in­jus­tice that plague var­i­ous sec­tors of so­ci­ety.

Fit­tingly, dur­ing Black His­tory Month, let us re­call the sage ad­vice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “In the end, we will re­mem­ber not the words of our en­e­mies, but the si­lence of our friends” Grant Ranalli, Hamil­ton

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