For the past few weeks I’ve been engrossed in The Kennedys mini series. I have no doubt there are many parts that are factually inaccurate and it’s not how one should learn about history, but I enjoyed it just the same. I was actually a bit heart-broken when I ended the series last night, particularly with the not-so-happy-ending of the JFK and RFK assassinations.
Naturally, though, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the Kennedys. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t watch the series before going to Arlington Cemetery last month, although it was still moving for me just the same. I actually took a photo while I was there of a quote that I fell in love with (in part because I’d just been at a two-day conference about homelessness) in tribute to Bobby Kennedy (who surprisingly became my favorite character in the miniseries):
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. 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, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
What was interesting about the movie is that it got me thinking about family and siblings. I wouldn’t touch politics with a ten-foot pole and there’s undoubtedly a lot more drama surrounding the Kennedys than my own family, but there were small enough similarities that I couldn’t help but smile. (Thankfully my dad isn’t like Joe – he lets us follow our own passions.)
With each episode I became more convinced that the little sister is the Bobby Kennedy of the bunch. I’m always looking forward to another installment from her about who she’s going up against or what wrong she’s trying to right. (She’s hardcore and beyond her years. Trust me.) There’s no doubt in my mind she can change the world. But we all can in little ways, and that’s what I love about the quote. Regardless of political beliefs or moral views, I get excited in thinking that small acts of kindness and courage can make things better, even if it’s just for one person. Although that could just be the view I’ve got from the bubble I supposedly live in and my post-conference inspiration…