At Senator Robert Kennedy’s funeral, Senator Ted Kennedy asked that his brother not be idealized. The same should be true for Senator Ted Kennedy. His accomplishments are all the greater for his human failings because they stand as examples of what human beings, not saints, can do. I have long been inspired by the fact that Edward Kennedy kept going…despite his stumbles, his fuck ups and his imperfections.
Would that we all could say the same.
I can’t help but note the current condition of America as I consider Senator Kennedy’s legacy…that many among us see suffering and turn away from it and see wrongs and do nothing to right them. ‘Tis not that we are engaged in a debate over healthcare…but that we aren’t debating “care” at all. Instead we are debating whether or not to care…to do what can be done and then push ourselves to do more because its right and will benefit society.
And after noting that current condition…so lacking in compassion and social responsibility that it chills me to the bone…I find comfort in Senator Kennedy’s legacy.
I find comfort in the indictment his legacy issues to those who feel the wages of poverty are hunger, want, suffering and death.
I find comfort in the fact that when we pass healthcare reform it will be but one of many outstanding legislative achievements left behind by a human being…not a saint, but a real person…by Senator Edward Kennedy.
And I find comfort in knowing that, though the cameras may swing about to document the opinions of those who would have us do nothing in the face of need and give nothing in the face of want, I am not alone in my dedication to turn away from such wretched indifference and toward social justice.
I remember Senator Kennedy as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.
And may his legacy be that others live lives that will one day be remembered the same way.
That the living dream things that never were…ask why not…and then get about the business of making those dreams a reality…