What Sen. Kennedy’s Life Can Teach Us All

Senator Edward M. Kennedy lived his whole life. He didn’t let tragedies, setbacks or embarrassments stop him from his life’s work. Sen. Kennedy learned, he reflected, he grew, he lived.

And he gave. It’s in his giving of his time, his beliefs, his experience that he defined his life. He changed the world by living his life – each moment of it – in the best way he knew how.

Sen. Kennedy was far from a perfect man, but he continually strived to be a better person. He didn’t let his mistakes define him. He defined himself by his family relationships, his public service and his community involvement.

So Why Are You Telling Me This?

No one’s life has turned out the way we planned. We all have disappointments, rejections and hardships that we have to deal with. The question is: do you let negative events from your past define your future? Are your feeling about your dysfunctional family, your financial problems, or shame from past mistakes keeping you from moving forward?

Think of life as happening in chapters. All that stuff in your past – good and bad – is over and done with. Your past might be part of who you are, but it doesn’t have to define you. You can decide what this chapter, and future chapters, of your life will be. It’s the sum of these chapters that will define your life, not just your past.

“Ten percent of life is what happens; the other 90 percent is what you do about it.” — Rabbi Shmuley