Friday, September 14, 2007

Aeschylus on the getting of wisdom

He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

- Aeschylus, Agamemnon, line 179ff.
(as misquoted/paraphrased by Robert F. Kennedy upon the assassination of Martin Luther King Jnr., and then also inscribed on RFK's grave)

I watched the second half of the SBS documentary on Robert F. Kennedy tonight with a friend from church and discovered how little I had known about him. For instance, I didn't realise how close he'd come to becoming America's youngest president, nor how much he'd already achieved in bringing people together. A vision of a possible future can be such a powerfully cohesive force.


psychodougie said...

it's interesting how many australians were much more upset, in retrospect, by his assassination, than by his brother's.

not being insensitive to the great loss of JFK, but robert's dreams seemed to reach people all over the world in an unparalleled way.

i would love to read an alternative history (in the ilk of harry turtledove's, where the confederacy won the american civil war), where he's not assassinated and goes on to actually try and accomplish what he dreamed!

Selena Belle said...

The Kennedy's were amazing figures in history, and its sad that still so many (of the younger generations) only remember them for negative events in their short lives and are still so naïve when it comes to everything else the Kennedy's worked for.

I think Rose said it best in Doctor Who when she said "It's funny, when you think of "assassinations", you think of Kennedy and that..."

But I agree with psychodougie, it would be brilliant to read an alternate history where he escaped assassination and went on to accomplish his goals.