Any good politician knows there are two ways to rally a crowd: with anger, finger-pointing and an us-versus-them battle cry; or, with the promise of better things and a brighter future for those who believe in their collective power to change.
Jack Layton chose the latter, wrapping up his final "speech" -an emotional letter to Canadians and his fellow politicians released shortly after his death on Monday -on a high note.
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."
Within hours of his death, this final paragraph of his letter was being quoted and re-quoted in media and across social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
It is easy, especially for those who feel disenfranchised from the world of politics, to believe that what happens in Ottawa isn't important, that their vote doesn't matter, or that they have no power to make change.
But Layton's message, clearly, is just the opposite: believe in your cause, and you can change the world.
In a few short sentences, Layton passes his torch to a younger generation, telling young Canadians specifically that they have a critical place in building the future: "I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you. Ã Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today."
There's no partisanship here. No campaigning battle cry or us-versus-them finger-pointing. It's a much simpler message than that: become involved, be committed, find solutions.
Layton tells young Canadians: "I believe in you."
Now, will they believe in themselves enough to heed the call?