This last week we acknowledged the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death in Dallas,Texas. For those of us who remember that tragic event the coverage on the news brought back a flood of memories. To this day he is the only former president that has continued to achieve an over 90% approval rating. Impressive results for an impressive man.
Anytime we have the opportunity to remember such an iconic figure we struggle to understand the loss, just as we do with our own personal losses. There was a lesson for the world in this tragedy. His stance on limiting….even refusing to use – nuclear arms when we were on the brink of a world conflict set the stage for a better way. He was especially eloquent on the topic. To quote from one of his speeches, “It’s insane that two men, sitting on opposite sides of the world, can choose to put an end to civilization…We need to do whatever we can to minimize the chances.” The legacy he left us regarding the importance of finding ways to avoid conflict and destruction in our world remain a critical lesson to this day.
He believed in giving, helping, doing for others. His famous statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,” will ring forever in our minds. Makes you stop and think doesn’t it? How often are we asking for others or the world to help us rather than the other way around?
His calm reserve in time of crisis also served as a lesson for us in everyday life. We must remain patient even hopeful as life challenges us to an extreme. Sometimes it takes superhuman strength to hold our tongues, turn the other cheek and look for the positive in a situation but we can do it. By doing so we all become a bit of a hero in our own right.
When the student is ready the teacher comes along. JFK will remain a teacher to us and to future generations. His life, however short, was no brief candle but a brilliant torch that served to illuminate the world and help us remember the importance we can contribute to it. Each one of us, in our own unique way, can add rather than subtract to life.
Have a great few days!