(This began as a single essay, but is over 1600 words, so it now appears in 4 sections.)
As I begin: I send condolences to the Kennedy family – and thank them for their tremendous dedication, and for achievement of benefit, they have brought to our nation.
Passing of Edward Kennedy, Trans-generational Values,
and Maslow’s Hierarchy, Maturity in a Family Line
I begin with confession to playing loose with detail. I have said elsewhere, I believe the specific points to the general – the micro to the macro. “Everything is potential model for everything else,” I have also said. Witness of one small detail can point the mind toward The Grandness of the Whole.
(The two diminutive flies pathing along my kitchen wall this morning for instance seemed bent on some mission – presumably in pursuit of life’s unfolding in their world. From that observation, I briefly touched base with “the built in impulses that keep all life going everywhere” – from shrubs in my yard to myself, to unknown events unfolding throughout Consciousness.)
What I say about the Kennedy family will not demonstrate a study of the family. It has been my approach in life to experience meaning in bits and pieces as details catch my attention. Sometimes I stop intentionally with a field of investigation – but for the most part, meaning “accumulates”, filtered through my own spoken and unspoken questions about “meaning/purpose” of existence.
My knowledge of the Kennedy phenomenon is certainly a case of “informal collection of detail”; I use it here to explore further on some aspects of ‘being human’.
So, bolstered by some quick research at Wikipedia (see P.J. Kennedy ; see J. P. Kennedy), my basic understandings of the Kennedy family are this: The public/political Kennedy family we have come to know emerged from a history that includes shenanigans in wealth accumulation. Slippery with regard to law, (alcohol running during Prohibition by J.P. Kennedy is alleged.) (Shenanigan detail in family history appears to be true with virtually all families of great wealth – my loose ‘sense’, which I have not verified.)
Astute management of money has certainly been with the Kennedy family for generations, beginning in the US with immigrant parents’ son Patrick Joseph Kennedy. Born in the US, Patrick Joseph demonstrated something close to a rags to riches life story. From early days as a stevedore, to eventual wealth through whiskey, coal, and bank stocks. He was also politically active, holding Massachusetts state positions.
Patrick Joseph’s children included Joseph Patrick – who fathered the mature Kennedy’s we now find passing from our shared lives. So it is from this family history that Ted Kennedy, also JFK, Robert, and Eunice emerged.
Wealth more or less assured, it appears the thread of family history most pursued by the generation familiar to us, is the political one. Not “just” political, but “service-oriented” political.
Despite personal ‘failings’ each of these may have had, despite possible use of political ‘muscle’ from time to time in less than forthright ways, the forward thrust of movement among this collection of siblings has been to insist on a level of integrity from powerful players on the national scene.
(See – same title, part 2)