It’s taken me some time, but I’d like to offer these words in public tribute to my dear friend Daniel Kingsbury.
Daniel was our leader, and he will be remembered in sanctity for the works he performed while he was here.
Daniel’s passing has left so many of us with deep, grasping questions, and I can be counted among them.
Daniel was a true inspiration to all he met and will continue to be.
He left us with so much to cherish in the years ahead, and although we miss Daniel in profound ways, that much we can feel good about.
Daniel was the ultimate giver and gave completely to those around him. His first thought was always of us, and he gave generously to ease our suffering.
To me: he was my brother in arms, my closest friend, a confidant, an advisor. But above all: he was a true inspiration in my life.
It is without question that he was a major factor in my current path of political involvement. He ignited my passion, along with the passions of so many young people, in similar ways. I am proud to be among those Daniel inspired to perform what is required of today’s generation.
He challenged us to accept this calling, showed us the way forward, and then helped us walk there together.
Losing a cherished leader is a deeply shattering experience for any community.
We are conditioned to accept the passing of our aged leaders. We expect that, and we know what to do with that grief.
There are no words that adequately describe the pain of losing a young leader. These are the people that give us hope that we might live out a different future. These are the people that help us see the world in new ways, and move toward a new outcome.
In many large ways we depended on Daniel to keep that candle going.
We are, after all, living in an age nearly completely bereft of true leadership.
Our Political leaders, for a start, have failed to address the clear and present existential problems of our time. Is it too early to condemn this as a ‘failed generation’? The failure seems clear enough, and we are now nearly out of time.
Perhaps, we have failed ourselves too, and are getting the outcomes we deserve. The blame for these outcomes can, and will be shared amongst all.
Climate change and ecological collapse are our reality now, and we appear unable to reckon with this truth.
It’s no wonder that the epidemic of our age is anxiety and depression: something Daniel knew very well, and struggled with.
Our current existential conflict can’t be ignored, even if we look away. It seeps in through our pores, skin and lungs, it’s everywhere, and it has become us whether or not we choose to accept it.
It has now been left up to the ‘U-turn Generation’ to somehow stem the tide of what lies ahead.
Daniel walked slowly and deliberately into an open field to confront the menacing giant that threatened his people in this time. With an easy confidence, and without any hesitation, Daniel picked up the only stone that he could find.
He had nothing else with which to fight this battle, and so in a sense, this one stone had to be enough.
He cast that stone with everything he had, and focussed himself on the protection of his people. This is the path of a true leader.
Along his path, Daniel endured every hardship to bring forth his message.
His only thoughts were of our welfare, salvation, and inspiration.
He gave us everything he had.
We could not have asked any more of Daniel.
I struggle to find the words to thank him for all he has done.
I will always remember Daniel as the giant that he truly is.
A giant in spirit, courage, determination and understanding.
He walked this earth in the possession of rare genius, and all who knew him have seen the proof, and will happily testify.
Daniel had the ability to explain the very essence of life itself, in all it’s intimate texture and detail.
He was able to explain to us some distant memory of ourselves that we can barely remember.
Like the countless shades of the rainbow, Daniel revealed all the shades of the human heart in their true purity and clarity.
That final stone Daniel cast still has yet to land, and so we don’t know the final chapter of Daniel’s story.
His passing has left us searching for ourselves, and maybe that’s what we need.
When we do find ourselves, may we find new strength for all our work ahead
May 1000 leaders step up to take Daniel’s place and find their own inspirations to help make the change,
May we find the courage to do the un-thinkable,
May we learn to live in balance once again,
The next part is up to us.