Farewell to the last son
There are so many people who have inspired me in my life. My parents, some friends and the occasional pop culture icon. I am not easily inspired by flash and style. For me it has always been substance, discipline, integrity and persistence that inspires me to be more than I ever thought I could be.
None of us are perfect, but we're perfect in our imperfections because we each serve as a reminder to each other of the promise of God to forgive us all for our sins and his promise to love us all unconditionally. Our lives are the greatest works of art ever created.
Our lives are performance art because we dance a daily dance that balances our thoughts and urges with our dreams and aspirations. We create ourselves with our actions, choices and deeds. Our lives are visual art because the beauty of the images we paint during our greatest moments of happiness and the pain of the tragedies we create and experience are woven into the most wonderful tapestry one can imagine. We view each other through our five senses as well as our minds and when we evolve we can learn to see with our hearts and souls. I've learned to start seeing with my heart and you are all beautiful works of art.
Life is also a collaborative type of art. God created us in a single act of divine and passionate creation, but then he then proceeds in an exceedingly generous fashion to hand the paint brush to each of us. We are provided with an opportunity to go about creating, refining and presenting ourselves as ever evolving works of very personal art.
Senator Ted Kennedy is the most recent work of human art to be completed. He was a kind and caring man with very deep personal convictions. He was a statesman, father, uncle, brother, nephew, son, friend and so much more. He was of course as flawed as any of us, but what made his life special to me if that he lived his life with conviction, persistence, humility, gratitude, compassion, kindness and love. In my personal view his redemption is complete.
He was able to hold on to his personal beliefs and stand for what he thought was right. He was able to disagree passionately with someone over a political issue, but still embrace them as a loving friend. This ability is an example of not taking things personally and the power that living that particular agreement can bring to ones life.
I believe that the Kennedy family has held a special place in the consciousness of our country for a very long time for one very special reason..that despite great wealth and influence and the temptations that surely come with that kind of wealth and power the Kennedy family seems to have never forgotten that they are blessed. The family embodies a sense or service to ones community and the duty to make sure that all families have a right to live in dignity. Ted Kennedy and his deceased brothers John and Robert all seemed to understand that health care, civil rights, equal protection under the law and a quality education are rights NOT privileges and that all human beings are entitled to them. He was also a huge supporter of the arts and this part of him has a special place in my heart. He was an accomplished painter and he also did a tremendous amount of work to help make the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. what is is today.
Senator Kennedy lived a life in which he treated those with less with the same dignity as he did the wealthy and powerful. He was both an idealist and a pragmatist. More than anything, Senator Kennedy inspired me in his teaching and living of one very simple ideal: there is NOTHING that you can't accomplish. In his own Irish Catholic way he embodied my personal truth: YOU ARE WHAT YOU DREAM!
Yet another person who inspired me to be the best man I can be has passed away. We can remember his sacrifice and service by doing our very best to follow our own dreams and to love and cherish each other despite our perceived difference. We are all Americans and humans and members of the same wonderful family of God.
Rest in peace a true American hero...Edward M. Kennedy