As I sit down to write I remember a legacy that is rhetorical of boundless love, compassion and unsaid companionship. Fostering such inheritance that serves the cause of existence reminds us of a mother’s pretentious and unconditional nurturing of her embryo, a bequest similar to the vision of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Her life was an illustration of emancipation for the challenged, for she was the one who saw ‘ability in disability’. She believed in what she saw and made the world see it. In her words, “You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory” (http://www.eunicekennedyshriver.org). Her groundwork of rebuilding hope and reshaping lives is a sheer strength for millions today, as also a gateway to righteousness and an entourage to empathy.
In a world where peace and tranquility are bartered for fake emotions and material convergence, Eunice Kennedy aspired to plow into the aspect of contribution to humanity through her insurmountable appreciation and love for the challenged. She was a Kennedy; unique, elite and class apart. Her purpose for life was deep and clear and so was her courage and compassion for the one’s who were disintegrated from the mainstream. The initiation of Camp Shriver was to bring back this lost world to the one’s who needed it most.
Her advocacy for children’s health and disability led to various foundations and health care facilities, among which Special Olympics was her greatest humanitarian achievements. She took the cause international. Like the Kennedy brothers, her humility mirrored her true intent and that was to be human and respect human. Her life was an open book to her roots, a family name that dedicated itself to the cause of service and hope for the people of this nation.
Her altruistic mission taught us that humility never thrives on intellectualism alone. It requires us to be in control of emotions and most importantly have an urge to give back to society what we got from it. Her Humility was a cognizance of her humanness and her dedication to change, to rehabilitate and restore the will to live. She gave us an unforgettable lesson that humility is a conscious choice between being served and serving others. It was Eunice Kennedy’s compassion for her sister Rosemary’s pain that she saw in each challenged child and eventually Rosemary’s happiness in the enthusiasm and felicity of such children, a cause that deeply connected her with each child. She proved that challenges are not adversities but possibilities and opportunities. Eunice shared an endearing relationship and indeed a common agenda with her younger brother. As Senator Ted Kennedy remembered Eunice on her death, “ she understood deeply the lesson our mother and father taught us: Much is expected of those to whom much has been given”. In a similar remembrance Ted Kennedy Junior described her as a competitive women and a great sailor. She was a woman of substance who shared her spirit and installed competitiveness in millions, yes a true torchbearer. Eunice Kennedy is not alive today but her legacy shall always be.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver: The women who saw Ability in Disability | Intent.com
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Photo Courtesy: Special Olympics