Thursday, February 18, 2010

The most lasting contribution . . .

Patrick Kennedy announced last week that he was retiring from Congress after 8 terms.  Kennedy, the youngest child of Senator Edward Kennedy, and the grandson of President John F. Kennedy, said that he was ready to take his life in a new direction.  In particular, he said that he had spoken about this with his father quite a bit before the Senator passed away last year and that they had discussed the different ways one could engage in public service.

In that regard, I was most struck by this comment in a New York Times article on his announcement:
He said he had been contemplating his decision for nearly a year, and discussed it with his father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, before he died of brain cancer in August. They talked about the different ways a person could serve the public, the younger Mr. Kennedy said. They agreed that Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Senator Kennedy’s sister, had made the most lasting contribution of anyone in the family when she founded the Special Olympics.
I have always been impressed with the Special Olympics and its motto:  "Let me win but if I can not win let me be brave in the attempt."  

My daughter Abby has found herself in classes this year with a number of special education students, and she has taken a strong interest in helping them and working with them.  She has particularly focused on them in her P.E. class, helping them in the pool, at the ping-pong table, and at other efforts where her help is welcomed.  I think she is learning a lot from them, and a lot about herself as well.

Last week, the special ed students had a Valentine's party, and Abby was invited.  I thought that was really nice.

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