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August 12, 2009

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921-2009)

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I grew up in a family of Depression Era-WWII Parents and Boomer Kids. For us, the U.S. economy overall was very good in the 1950s-1970s as we moved around in corporate America from D.C. to Chicago, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Chicago again, and finally southern Ohio. We were not poor. My brother, sister and I attended some of the finest secondary schools in the U.S. My parents--especially my mother, a 1960s prototype of the Strong Suburban Super-Mommy, and one with a caregiver's heart--stressed not only achievement in school and sports, and having constant paid part-time jobs, but also on working with the physically or mentally handicapped, or the otherwise unlucky.

And we were to do that without telling the world about what completely lucky and swell people we were. It meant spending your time, and part of your soul. Bonus: You need not be paid money in those part-time jobs. Secret: You got more than you ever gave. We volunteered--Stepping Stones Center in Cincinnati was just one venue--and my mother and sister each entered careers to work with special adults or special children. Eunice Kennedy died yesterday. No matter what your age, your politics, or your tolerance for social welfare programs, the middle child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy was a very big deal in making lucky people realize how much unlucky people had to give to them. See in the Washington Post this editorial.

Posted by JD Hull at August 12, 2009 11:59 PM

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