Wednesday, August 26, 2009
To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected
Regardless of your political affiliation, you cannot deny that Senator Ted Kennedy sacrificed a great deal for our country. I had the immense privilege of meeting him on several occasions - the first time was at his home in Hyannis Port when I was 15 and that meeting remains one of the greatest moments in my life. Among all of his accomplishments, some of things about Ted Kennedy that I admired most were the following:
He lived his life by the following principle - "To whom much is given, much is expected". He was blessed to have have been born into an extraordinarily wealthy and powerful family yet he dedicated his life to public service. He could have quietly disappeared from the public scene after the assassinations of his two brothers, after the Chappaquiddick scandal, after being diagnosed with brain cancer, but he remained and continued to fight the good fight. He never wavered in his liberal beliefs and he never backed down from what he believed was right, regardless of polling numbers or the opinion of pundits. He was the kind of politician who continually stood his ground in a time when many vacillate in the hopes of being re-elected and, regardless of whether you agreed with him or not, that is something to be admired.
Another source of admiration I have for Senator Kennedy comes from his unwavering optimism. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, he remained optimistic about the future of our country. He did not let the immense tragedy that befell his own family - the untimely deaths of four of his nine siblings - prevent him from living his life to the fullest. For most, the Shakespearean tragedy of the Kennedy family would have been too much to bear, but he weathered the storm - stepping in and assuming the role of guardian and patriarch to a family that has suffered so much.
I realize not all of you will understand or agree with my admiration for Senator Kennedy - some of my admiration comes from my personal experiences with him - but I hope we can all agree that a great American has been lost today. I would appreciate any comments you have, but please be respectful.