Justin Trudeau has his regrets, doubts, passions and dreams.
Regrets that his moving eulogy last year put him in the spotlight rather than just his father. Doubts that he is ready for politics, or that politics is ready for him. Passion for his chosen career as a teacher. And dreams that he can help engage more people in changing the world.
"What do I want to change?" Mr. Trudeau asked in a wide-ranging interview with The Globe and Mail.
"I want to see more people voting. I want to see more people feeling they have an engagement and a relationship for the society in which they live. . . .
"I'm passionate about politics because I'm passionate about life. I believe in living big, living well. I see the world the way I'd like it to be and it's my personal goal to help push in that direction."
Mr. Trudeau, 29, has tried to return to his private life as a teacher since the death of his father, Pierre Trudeau.
He stepped back into the media spotlight this weekend, however, to lend support to the Kokanee Glacier alpine campaign. Details of the campaign are available at .
The campaign seeks to increase awareness of avalanche dangers and raise funds for the restoration of the cabin where Justin's brother Michel spent his last night before an avalanche swept him into a snow-covered lake in November, 1998. His body was never found.
The campaign, which also hopes to raise funds to build a new hut for back-country enthusiasts, has collected about half its $900,000 goal.
Mr. Trudeau travelled to Nelson, B.C. for a series of activities, such as dog rescue and avalanche safety demonstrations. He started out on a helicopter tour yesterday to the area where Michel died, but bad weather prevented the flight from getting there.
He was interviewed earlier in the week at a muffin shop, a few blocks away from West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver where he teaches high-school students.
With an easy smile and an intense gaze, he spoke about the moment when he gave the moving eulogy to his father.
He said he wishes the reaction to his comments, which he wrote himself, reflected more on his father and less on him.
"I wanted to try and give everyone a little bit of what would make them feel a bit better," he said, peering off into the distance, "and give them a bit of closure and give them one last good cry."
Mr. Trudeau said he never anticipated Canadians would respond with such emotion and widespread interest in his own life.
"The eulogy was not about me," he said. "The eulogy was about my father. And you know, I wonder if I had done things differently, if I had really talked about my own stuff -- about my own -- if I hadn't focused so much on what I felt everyone needed, it might have been a very different eulogy.
"It was a responsibility I was not going to shy away from. But you know, people talk about the eulogy and they talk about me. But it was about my father.
"I've turned into some sort of celebrity. But I'm not. I'm not."
Reflecting his mother's passion for life and his father's attachment to reason, he also talked about his attitude to taking risks, his commitment to teaching and his own ambitions to change the world.
He expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support and adulation that followed his eulogy. "I look at it much more as a reflection of my father and the great man that he was, rather than any real focus on myself," he said.
He added that he does not relish being in the public eye. He thought he knew about being a public figure as the son of the prime minister. "But it takes on a whole new dimension when people want to meet me for me and there's this looking at me," he said.
He was coy about whether he will go into politics. He indicated he has some strong opinions, which are not so different from his father's, and he is determined to make a difference in the world.
"Maybe not everyone needs to go out there and make a difference. I do, and I think more people should," he said.
But he also said he is not prepared to make the compromises that may be necessary to move ahead in politics.
"I don't think I'm ready for politics and I don't think politics is ready for me. And I don't know if [it]ever will be, or I will ever be. I believe very strongly about what I believe in and there are compromises I will simply not make," he said.
He would not talk about his love life or whether he will keep on teaching in Vancouver next year. "I have a lot of choices to make in my life. What I choose to do at this point is my own business."
However, he indicated he does not plan to settle in Vancouver, where he has lived since graduating from McGill University. "I will always be a Montrealer," he said. "I'm just a Montrealer living in Vancouver."
He is committed to teaching, in the classroom, on the ski slopes in British Columbia or while whitewater rafting outside Montreal. As a teacher, he wants to challenge his students to push themselves, to find their limits by taking risks and to challenge authority, he said.
"The fact of the matter is: Risk is part of life, whether it be in sports or academic thought, social situations. Pushing yourself is how you get to become a better person. Challenging yourself against the environment you are in is how we learn, how we shape our own identity."
He sees himself as a "cultural resistance worker" in the classroom, who doesn't just support the status quo but challenges it and creates thinkers that will themselves question society.
Too many people let institutions such as government take care of the problems in their communities, he said. He would like to see more people who feel responsible for the society in which they live.
"You can do it in any sphere," he said. "You can do it as a doctor, a lawyer, as a construction worker . . . It's a way of taking charge of your world and taking responsibility for it and interacting with it in a way you feel is relevant."
He said he is often asked when he will leave the classroom and move on to something else.
But he said there is nothing he wants to do more than try to be a teacher "and maybe create more people like me who recognize the importance of taking responsibility for the world."