A weekly post from my childhood to grown-up friend Carrie ~
sharing her awesome life and her desire to have community while doing it!
I have a deep, insatiable desire to do something great in the world. I long to help make major change that impacts generations and crosses cultural barriers. But what does living a life of influence look like? I think it varies from person to person, but every influential person’s story shares the theme of sacrifice.
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at influencers who have inspired us. We’ll be sharing about people who counted the cost, made the sacrifices, and have impacted our world immensely. We hope you enjoy it and learn something new, but we would also like to know who has inspired you to live your fullest you! Please share in the comments below!
This week we start with JFK, one of our favorites! To us, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a leader who was elegant and courageous. Though we have learned about him through books, teachers, and research, we are certain we would have loved him.
As a child he suffered quite extensively with illness and his adult life was plagued by physical pain due to a back injury. He was one of nine children, grew up wealthy, and knew the value of service and hard work, something I appreciate. JFK was an average student, an athlete, and, of course, he was quite popular.
So, what is it that drew us to him? I’m glad you asked! First and foremost, his desire for justice and equality is apparent in how he served his country. From his military service in the Navy, to each of the political offices he held, from Congress to the highest office of President, he showed that he would never ask something from someone that he wasn’t willing to do himself. His hunger for knowledge was evident in the way he governed, wanting always to make the best decision for his country. JFK respected the office he held, so he used his authority tenderly and led with great strength.
Probably my favorite thing about #35 was his global view. He often reminded us that everyone has a part to play in the game of life, society, and culture.
He said “let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.”
He seemed to have a greater understanding of common good and encouraged his fellow Americans that it could be reached more peaceably and without rivalry. I see him as a man of great courage.
“So let us begin anew--remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
His true influence was seen by the way the world grieved his death. From the stories we’ve heard, it felt like the earth stopped the day he died. I believe the immense grief was a result of the depth of love people had for their leader. The Kennedys seemed touchable and relatable; they were “just like us” so they were easy to love. Their mistakes were no grander than ours, they just had greater exposure, giving us all the opportunity to learn the art of extending mercy.
While there are many things we love about JFK, one stands out above the rest. For context: Joe’s nickname is Noble and rightfully so, he is a pretty noble guy! In our research, the name Fitzgerald kept coming up, a name we love. We have said that if we ever have a son, we would name him Fitzgerald. Through further research, we discovered Fitzgerald translates to “Son of the Nobleman”. This discovery, of course, did me in and I cry just about every time I think of it! John Fitzgerald Kennedy was surely a noble man.
Thank you Mr. President for serving our country well. We thank you, we honor you, and we are grateful for your sacrifice.
“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.”
See you next Tuesday!