I lost a friend this week. His name was John Glass and he was a hero in the very real sense of the word.
John and his wife, Judy Glass, are well-known in the progressive community in Los Angeles. They are, and she will still be, staunch supporters of organizations that work for peace and social justice. John’s central cause for the past handful of years was the single-payer health care movement. He believed that health care is a right, not a priviledge, and should be available to everyone without the constraints of a particular employer or the limitations of insurance companies dictating what doctors can provide based on their own self-serving priorities.
I have known John for almost 40 years. He was a giver from the word “go” and never stopped focusing on making the world a better place for us all. Throughout his career John was a sociologist, a professor, a volunteer coordinator for non-profit organizations, a therapist, a published author and a friend to the working man. Every choice he made was in the service of others and with the true intention of helping and healing the world and the human heart.
Talk to anyone who knew John and practically the first thing they will recall is his enthusiasm about the social causes and political candidates he supported. He always carried fliers with him for whatever rally or event was coming up and would invariably offer the fliers to whoever was within earshot with a bold statement encouraging his audience to attend. Show up! Make your voice heard! Make a difference!
John died Tuesday night, May 9, 2012, at the age of 76, after a week-long battle with pneumonia and a lifetime battle against the dragons that seek to diminish the individual spirit. He will be missed by many and our work to regain the dignity of the common man will be made harder for his absence.
Of all the responses we received to our announcement of John’s death this was the one that hit me the hardest and is, I believe, the perfect statement of how John’s life affected the world in which he lived:
The average person lost a friend this week. The people John Glass helped the most will never know who John Glass was. That was John Glass.