Saturday, August 29, 2009

On Ted Kennedy and The Kennedy Legacy

I realized today watching the eulogy for Ted Kennedy presented by President Barack Obama, that we wouldn't have an Obama, a chance for change, a new face in politics and an opportunity to overturn the status quo in this great country, if not for Ted Kennedy.

He was born a child of privilege and certainly faced his demons in his life as did many in his family. Yet, something in this wealthy and entitled family made them think as much of those that have little as those that have much.

That is the legacy he left us. He truly believed in country and had hope that all of us might actually be able to live our lives as Americans based on an idea of equality, regardless of his genetic gift of being born into wealth and fame.

He surpassed the gifts of wealth and genetic "fame" by always thinking of those that were not born into such circumstances.

If only all people could be so kind and so considerate, we might all become "one nation united" for a central cause.

Now is certainly the time to reflect upon the gifts that this man bestowed upon our country; the gift of ignoring race, of ignoring the American "caste" system and treating all human beings in this country and in this world as human beings worthy of being listened to and human beings whose causes are worth fighting for. The world that Ted Kennedy envisioned is one where we all might one day be, to use a sailing euphemism, all be sailing on an "even keel".

There aren't too many people born into a life of privilege that use their voice and power to try to make the world better for the "little guy" that didn't have their advantages. I must applaud Ted and the Kennedys for sticking up for those that were not born under that same golden cloud. I also must applaud them for overcoming much grief yet still continuing their agenda of "liberty for all".

I can't say enough yet I hope I've made my point. This family has had more extraordinary members than any other in our last 6 decades. They could have decided to just be rich and hedonistic and live their lives for themselves, yet many in the Kennedy family have decided to use their voice, their wealth and their power to help those that were not born into such a situation and it makes my heart happy that there are people that are willing to do this.

I can't honestly say that I would be so altruistic had I been born with wealth and power, but I have to admire those that will go the distance for the disenfranchised. Someone in the Kennedy family at some point planted a seed that grew and that seed gave us many, many great politicians and community activists within the Kennedy family. This family gave us people who actually cared about other people and the environment and used the wealth that could have afforded them endless days lounging about in the world's greatest vacation destinations. Instead of hanging out in Ibiza or other destinations of the rich, they spent most of their time fighting for the little guy, and using their loud and powerful voices and influence to help those that weren't born under such great circumstances and this is wonderful.

We can all learn a lesson from how the Kennedy's lived their lives. Detractors will also find unsavory episodes within the lives of the Kennedy's. I still can't help but believe that all of the good that they've done WAY outweighs the personal demons that they have faced down.

1 comment:

  1. Hi AKPet Mom!

    After watching the funeral today I really felt the weight of history. Especially when the hearse stopped in front of the Capitol and all Sen. Kennedy's past & present staff were there.

    I re-read an article from June's Vanity Fair today on Kennedy. After hearing how some people cannot forgive Sen. Kennedy and see things based only on his faults, this quote from late political writer Murray Kempton really stood out:

    "In the arrogance of our conviction that we would have done better than he did in a single case [i.e., Chappaquiddick] we exempt ourselves from any duty to pay attention to the many cases where he shows himself better than us"