The Gift – Quotes from Robert Francis Kennedy

Today is June 5. Forty years ago, Robert Francis Kennedy won the California primary and was on his way to a likely win for the Democratic Presidential nomination in Chicago. Instead, he never made it there.

From a You Tube video entitled: Robert F. Kennedy Remembered, here are some inspirational quotes nestled in amongst the pictures of him. I realize that many of his words have stayed with me below the surface, my whole life, in some way organically prodding me in a direction and a set of beliefs.

Whether you liked or hated the man, still, the heart in his words had the power to change this country…at least they had the power to change me. And maybe in the end, if words can change a single person, eventually, they can change a country….or a world.

By the way, if this appeals to you, there is a book by his son, Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, who was 3 when RFK was killed. It is the collection of quotes RFK compiled in his life, taken from things he read, Classical Literature, poems, things he and John Kennedy assembled. Maxwell Kennedy arranged the quotes in chapters by topic, as a sort of literary biography of his father. If of interest, the book is:

Make Gentle the Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy, by Maxwell Taylor Kennedy

And now, simply, a sampling of his quotes:

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country.

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it.

Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted–when we tolerate what we know to be wrong–when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened–when we fail to speak up and speak out–we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.

And the quote of his I most remember him by, and which has most affected my own life:

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why….I dream things that never were and ask why not.


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