A FINE EXAMPLE
Whenever I’d fall down, I’d get back up.
Whenever I am hurt I drive on, whenever I am brought low, I rise.
It was more than refreshing to hear and experience the tender, loving, and bold words of Meghan McCain as she eulogized her father, Senator John McCain, on September 2, 2018. She stood with heads of State and political leaders of diverse persuasions. She reminded us of the virtue of integrity in the service of humanity. Her words came as a masterful tribute to her father who served his Nation so well.
It was transformative to hear political leaders speak with intelligence, vision, respect, and humility if not self-effacing humor. It reminded us of how political discourse can be a matter of serious debate in the pursuit of the common good of all. It was uplifting to see so many gathered from all over the World pay tribute to a man who inspired virtue and courage. It was important for us to remember that ideology is not more important than the lives and well-being of real people.
Even Vietnam sent letters of condolences to the grieving family paying tribute to the man it once tortured on its soil. All of this testifies to the power one person’s example can have on the World. It invites us to hope and work for mutual understanding and peace even in the midst of conflict and division.
Meghan’s tribute to her father provided us not only relief from petty bickering and cruel rhetoric but gave us an opportunity to change our public discourse for the better. As she concluded her heart-warming remarks about her father, she addressed him personally with words we need to take seriously:
“Look, I know you can see this gathering in this cathedral. The nation is here to remember you. Like so many other heroes, you leave us draped in the flag you loved. You defended it, you sacrificed it, you always honored it. It is good to remember we are Americans. We don’t put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them, we raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues, this is how we honor them, this is how we will honor you.”
We look forward to her leadership in the months and years to come. Her tribute to her father is a tribute and a challenge to all of us. May we heed her words, savor her wisdom, and live in the light of her courage born of a father’s love.
Holy One, bless those who have blessed us with their courage.
Cherish those who have transformed us with their virtue.
Embrace those who suffered in the cause of what is right and good.
Take to yourself those who have lived that we might have peace.
Give rest to those who suffered that we might have life,
And fill us with the gratitude to be transformed by their dedication.
Holy One, give us boldness of speech that we might be
a voice for reason and justice.
Give us boldness of action that we might be
courageous in thought, word, and deed.
Fill us with wisdom that we might ultimately be
kind and compassionate one to another.
Help us to forgive so we might be better friends.
Help us repent that we might be better people.
Remember someone who inspired you.
Are you willing to be transformed by what inspires you? If so, how?
Decide to be inspiring to someone else.
When you hear an unkind word, what might you say?
When you are rejected, what might you do?
When you realized you might have made a mistake, what will you learn?
When someone invites you to be cruel, how might you respond?
When life is disappointing, what might you contribute?