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This Day In History Vol. 4

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By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist

Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.

“……..President Kennedy is dead.”
The words passed from Walter Cronkite’s lips to a nation sitting on the edge of their seats less than an hour after an announcement had been made 54 years ago today, on November 22nd, 1963. On that day in Texas, our nation endured a wound that would be talked about down to our day.
In fact, it is even more of a hot topic these days because most of the classified files have been released. However, after all the current events, it seems that the details of the documents keep getting pushed to the back burners. I, for one, am not really for politics.
My main issue with politics is that our lives are very circumstantial, yet laws are presented as standard. When you govern people’s lives by laws and not principles, people are more focused on loopholes than they are ethics. When you govern by principles, it leaves judgement and discernment to the individual, and we all know that people can be unreasonable.
That is really why we have laws. There are laws against us murdering each other. Common sense, or being reasonable, would dictate that it is not right to take away someone’s life. Theft is against the law. Once again, common decency would dictate that people should not take what is not theirs. Essentially, what it boils down to is the age old situation in the school yard when the bully says, “Says who?” when being told what they are doing is wrong.
However, President Kennedy being assassinated has always been a curious topic of conversation for many people and for many years. People often question why he was assassinated, and who the true killer was, if not Oswald. The only true answers that are known are known by the powers in place during that time, much like in our day.
Chaos. We live in chaos, and there is nothing anyone can do. It almost seems comical, like this is a dream that we cannot wake from. While we sit and the hear the news casts of people getting shot in churches and in schools, and we continue on with our day as unfazed, just going about our lives as if others just hadn’t ended.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – JFK. So I try to ask myself, because at the end of the day, that is all I am responsible for: What am I doing to make this world a better place? What can I do to make this better or more tolerable for my children? What am I doing to support myself and the ones I love? How am I influencing others I interact with?
Our lives have been living up until this point, and as a historical car ride in Texas on this day shows, our life may end sooner than we think. While we prepare for the future, we need to start living now. We need to start working together now.
“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” -JFK. Talk is great, but put this down, and go do something nice for someone that is unexpected. Go call someone and ask if there is something you can do for them. Appreciation for this gift of life we have is important to help the quality of our life and what we are able to contribute to others. Thoughts are nice, but is best summed up by JFK himself when he says, ”As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”