Friday, August 28, 2009

After reflection, some thoughts on Senator Edward Kennedy…

Shall we?

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…

17 comments:

edwin forprogress.org said...

So much of his "The Dream Shall Never Die Speech" is relevant now. It makes me sad that so many Americans do not know how much it Was Senator Edward Kennedy that made the dreams of his brothers a reality.

Below is the audio of the speech accompanied with images and ideas that highlight some of his accomplishments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et6phHVlLgQ

L. Jackson said...

This is a beautiful & eloquent writing..thanks for sharing! Grin, something u might not like, ie, writing like that is good enough for politicans; grin, wanta be a speech writer for the Republicans?

Dusty said...

Watching several of his more famous speeches the last couple of days made me realize something:

His oratory skills were as good as President Obama's.

We are worse off because of his death. But he is now among his family, all his siblings save one are gone from this earth, as he now is.

sassy said...

Condolences from a neighbour to the north.

Dusty - (not to deny your grief at all) yes, you are worse off because of his death, but you are also better off because of his life. Senator Kennedy leaves a good and lasting mark.

Diane said...

Shark-fu, I've been lurking around your blog for quite some time - first because I LOVED the name and then because you are so logical, caring, and such a bitch!!

A few words about the Kennedys: Papa Joe Kennedy was a scoundrel, Mama Rose was (in the public eye) a pushover; but they imbued their children and grandchildren with the notion that their goal in life was to do for others, not to be part of the idle rich and focus on hemselves only. While we all remember the martyred brothers John and Bobby, fewer of us remember that Joe Jr and Kathleen entered WWII before the US did. We remember Eunice as starting something bigger than herself and know the grandkids for a variety of things (Kathleen as lt. gov of maryland, Joe for his activism, Maria for her public persona as well as being 1st lady of CA, etc., etc.)

But Ted transcended all - he lived long enough to make our lives better with his legislation and caring, to be the de facto father for all those fatherless nieces and nephews, and to pass the torch to a new generation when he endorsed Obama for President.

We are the better for his being in our lives and we will find, as the fights in the Senate rev up on a number of issues, that we are going to miss him desperately.

Anonymous said...

nigger die

Anna said...

This was pure beauty to read.

As a swede living in France, I find this whole deal about american health care utterly strange. Of course I understand that the health care insurance companies want a status quo, since they gain from it.

But the average american? I just cannot understand why ordinary people want to keep a system that lets billions of dollars seep into corporations when they could be used on improvements on the actual health care?

Of course I am biased, but really. You should all move to Sweden, methinks. :) Of course, taxes are higher, but we understand the meaning of caring and solidarity.

Shark-fu said...

Thank you Anna!

I've a fondness for Sweden and I do plan to visit sooner rather than later!

America could benefit greatly from studying other countries and how they do health care...with the understanding that our way isn't the only way and certainly isn't always the right way.

Shark-fu said...

I've decided to post the racist comment by Anonymous. I usually reject that kind of shit but I'm making an exception here.

I want to share with y'all the kind of response I get on a pretty regular basis.

I want folks who read this post to see that some among us are so rotten with hate that "nigger die" is the best thing they can come up with...that simple minded ig'nance is their contribution to the discussion and to the nation.

kit said...

You are brave and beautiful, Shark-Fu.

Dusty said...

that simple minded ig'nance is their contribution to the discussion and to the nation. ~ These are the Limbaugh and Beck freaks.

IQ is probably right around that of a dandelion.

It's almost sad how pathetic they are. They have been marginalized since the election last Nov, therefore they are bitter as all get-out.

L. Jackson said...

There is no age for ignorance in this world but it is a sad thing to see, as they hide behind the anonymous....as unwilling to even stand up & acknowledge their hate, even to themselves.

The idea that there are many more of us that enjoy your thought provoking pieces speaks highly of u and should always count on a much higher plane than the ugly! U go gf!

Ouyangdan said...

Beautiful and well said.

And I just have to say that it is wonderful to see that a person's life doesn't always have to be about the worst thing they ever did. We are not saints, we are human, fallible w/ big fat flaws and all. Kennedy did some awful things, but he didn't let it be the end of him.

We can remember the good and be grateful for it while still not forgetting the flaws of people who try.

Thank you, as always.

David Duff said...

Further to 'Dusty' and the anonymous commenter, well, I'm "a Beck freak" and I don't write things like that, I don't even think things like that, and so far I haven't heard Beck say anything like it, either. But who wants silly facts to get in the way of a good rant.

Mind you, to be honest, rich, fat, socialists like Kennedy do tend to cause uncharitable thoughts to enter my head and to "tell truth and shame the devil" sometimes I write them down. But not here, of course!

Shark-fu said...

David...
Clearly I was raised on a different definition of charitable...since I would have denied Satan one more moment of joy and kept that shit to myself.

As is true of the rancid bigotry left behind by Anonymous, often what we say reflects more on us that on the person we are saying it to or about...

Dusty said...

Mr Duff,

You are almost funny in your comment!Beck never tells lies or obsfucates???

Like Shark Fu said..I would of kept that crap to myself.

And when you tossed in that brilliant(snark)word socialist..you id'd yourself as an extreme rightwing nutjob..therefore, responding to anything else you have to say..is useless.Socialism is here dude..suck it up and deal. Medicare, Veterans healthcare, your police dept, fire dept..etc are socialistic in nature.

Your petty attack against Senator Kennedy was devoid of anything intelligent, it was merely a personal attack on him as a person, not his ideals.

Now run along and watch your pal Beck ok? ;)

Nancy said...

That's one of the nicest eulogies I've seen for Ted Kennedy.

Thanks for your eloquence, as ever.

Nan