Watching Senator Kennedy’s funeral this weekend I was struck by the small stories of his many kindnesses. It seems like the great tragedies in his life gave him the ability to connect with everyone no matter their stature in life. He learned early on that we are all in this together and that there is nothing more important than reaching out to another.
It got me to thinking of how our money beliefs and values have caused an ever widening gap between those who have and those who have not. That gap has grown so that at times it seems impossible to bridge the gap. The two sides believe the opposite of each other and can’t even begin to understand those on the other side.
One side believes that nothing good comes with money—while across the gap they believe if you don’t have money, you’re no good. One side believes you did something “bad” to get money, and the other side believes if you just worked or tried harder you wouldn’t be in the financial mess you’re in. So, this gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” gets bigger and bigger based on baseless “truths” and unexamined beliefs.
But, maybe if we remember, like Senator Kennedy did, that we are all humans trying to survive in our world, we could reach across that gap and try to understand each other. We could begin to examine the beliefs we have about those of us who “have” and those who “have not”. If we did so, we might begin to see each other not as the enemy but as someone to collaborate with and support in this financial journey we’re on together. Who knows what we might be able to create?
Farewell to Ted Kennedy: an example of perseverance in the face of adversity.