November 20 ~ Achievement RFK: His Many Sides

"The future is not a gift: it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present." ~ Robert F. Kennedy

Robert Kennedy

Passionate leader Robert Francis Kennedy (19251968) was born on this day in Brookline, Massachusetts, the seventh child of America's famous Kennedy family.

He recalled, "I can hardly remember a mealtime when the conversation was not dominated by what Franklin D. Roosevelt was doing or what was happening in the world."

Graduating from Harvard and law school, he managed his brother John's successful political campaigns and was appointed Attorney General (1961), becoming the president's confidant and powerful right hand in domestic and foreign policy.

Following President Kennedy's death, Bobby was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York. With eloquent inspiration, he worked to end the war in Vietnam. With grassroot activism, he helped the poor and powerless.

He said: "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."

With this hopeful determination, he crusaded for civil rights in America alongside Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr. and sought freedom for others throughout the world. In a 1966 speech in segregated South Africa, he called for "the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings."

He was assassinated in 1968, minutes after winning the California's crucial Democratic presidential primary. On his gravestone are etched the words from Aeschylus: "He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."

Every accomplishment is a gift to the future.