In reading the New York Times today, I came across the text of the euology given by President Obama for Mr. Kennedy. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about Ted Kennedy- his brothers were the ones who were seen to be heroically larger than life, since their lives were abruptly ended- something that happens to the ones who left us too soon. But reading about Ted Kennedy's life is inspirational in a realistic way. He was a real person who did what he thought was right and had friends across the board - of all colors, denominations and political parties. Definitely things we could all aspire to.
President Obama said:
"We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God’s plan for us.
What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings."
From poet, William Woodsworth's Character of the Happy Warrior
"As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness."
May we all live with more tenderness.