The Legacy Of Youngest Brother, Ted Kennedy

Where were you when John Kennedy died? I was in the Seventh Grade in the school gym when I heard the announcement. That experience left me in shock and made the world seem more uncertain. Robert Kennedy's assassination came just after I graduated from High School. That left me wondering what kind of world we were living in that this kind of tragedy could happen in our country. This was 1968 when there were lots of questions about they way things were.

Now in 2009 the last of the Three Brothers life comes to an end. Ted Kennedy was an imperfect man like the rest of us. He had a passion for government and compassion for the less fortunate. His life was dedicated to making a difference for his country while serving as a father to the Kennedy children who had none.

His life as a senator was about service, about looking out for those with less influence who needed to be represented in Washington D.C. He was called the Lion of the Senate because he was a master at legislation and because he tirelessly represented the Liberal point of view. This is a great loss but we had time this time to prepare. This leaves me wondering who will take up the push for universal health care? Who will stand for the people who are not wealthy? Who will keep the important liberal flame glowing despite the anger of those who want to stamp out this point of view?

The answer has to come in the mirror of each of us including our elected officials. This was a man who lived the second half of his life on principles he believed in even when they were not popular. Unlike so many in office now who change what they say according to who they think is listening. Kennedy lived the liberal values of openness to change, of compassion for all, of respect for differences, of government as a healthy partner for all citizens, of peaceful co-existence for all on the planet, of the best education, and of service to make the world a better place.

In that mirror make a commitment to be you as fully as you can be in service of those in need. That service may be on a one-to-one basis, in your community, as a teacher or mentor, in the political process, by directing a cause your believe in or in some other inspired activity in which you will leave your positive mark on the planet.

Be courageous, be bold and be purposeful.