Oh, what could have been.
“Some men see things as they are, and ask,
I dream of things that never were, and ask,
—Robert F. Kennedy.
I opened my college application essay with a George Bernard Shaw quote that RFK often used on the campaign trail because it encapsulates my worldview and how I try to live my own life.
When someone says “You can’t do that” or ‘It’s never been done before” or “That’s just a pipe dream”, say, Why Not?! When someone tells you that your one effort cannot change the world, say, “Why Not?!”
Soon after I applied to UCLA, I got a call from their admission’s office. They said they’d never called to ask a non-athlete student to commit to their university but “your essay”. I do believe the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy helped solidify my essay because everything else I wrote in my essay flowed from that passionate “WHY NOT” point.
I hope other people can take inspiration from his life and his many quotes and realize that they can change the world, too—maybe not on a global stage like he did, but in their own lives, for their families and communities because every person’s effort to make society better, no matter how small, will make a difference to the entire pie of social equality, justice and peace.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and then the total — all of these acts — will be.”
RFK’s Final Journey
How two million Americans of every color, creed and ethnicity stood by their local train tracks to say farewell.
Just three days before in Los Angeles, he’d won the California Primary and accepted the nomination.
It was only three days before that he drove through the blue collar cities of Pico Rivera, Montebello, and East Los Angeles on the way to the Ambassador Hotel in Downtown L.A. where he was assassinated that thousands of people lined the streets to shake his hand as he sat in a convertible — my mom was one of those lucky teens who got to shake his hand.
It was only three days before that polling stations in Los Angeles closed early because every single registered voter had cast their vote.
It was only three days after these jubilant days of hope that his casket was en route to his final resting place.