Posted by: Ken Homer | June 5, 2008

40 Years Ago Today

“Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”

~ Robert F. Kennedy

Coming only three months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, the death of Bobby Kennedy extinguished yet another flame of hope. 

Forty years ago today, Bobby Kennedy won the California primary and gave his final speech before Sirhan Sirhan fired the fateful bullet that carved a deadly path through the Senator’s skull and took with it not just the life of one man, but the dreams of millions.

Now, forty years later, the last surviving Kennedy brother is dying of brain cancer, the country is once again caught up in an unwinnable war, the gap between rich and poor is widening on a daily basis and the status quo is more powerful, entrenched and harmful to our planetary health and worldwide well being than ever.

But now too, we have a new leader, a man who has Bobby’s ability to reach out across racial, economic and social divides and offer hope to those who feel hopeless. A man who is building bridges of hope across chasms of intolerance.

That this man is an African American and drawing to him people of every race, age, economic class and creed is proof that Martin Luther King, Jr, Bobby Kennedy and countless unknown people did not die in vain. 

For in living the experiments of democracy, involving more people in the process is always to the good.

Perhaps today is a good day to spend five minutes in journey back to 1968. To pause and reflect on how familiar the patterns and resonances are between that time and now.

I invite you to stop and listen to a man who was on the fast track to the Presidency of the United States of America step into a highly charged and volatile situation and offer words of wisdom and healing during a moment when hatred was boiling over into the streets.

Perhaps this little trip back in time will brighten the flame of hope in your own heart. We all need to be showing our lights these days.

My thanks to Karen at the Season of Nonviolence for sending me the quote that opens this post.

 

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