A public wake is being held today on Cape Cod for Eunice Kennedy Shriver, with  her funeral scheduled for tomorrow. I will be present at both events in heart and spirit. You can watch both here.

The passing of this remarkable woman has impacted me deeply and caused me to reflect on my own work on behalf of those with special needs. One of the career highlights for which I am most grateful these past two decades is having interviewed Tim Shriver, CEO of Special Olympics, for my book. The interview includes his take on what it was like to be raised by this remarkable woman. 

As a child, Tim experienced firsthand the beginnings of Special Olympics and his mother’s passionate commitment to athletic opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities. He took part in inclusive activities with these young athletes in his own backyard, and came away with powerful, lasting lessons. Tim Shriver’s amazing parents taught their children by example, benefiting millions. 

We have much to learn from those lessons. 

If each one of us gave just a fraction of the time, talent and financial support the Shriver family has given to improve the lives of others worldwide, this world would be a much better place, and our children would be better off, too.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s life and example make me want to be even better at what I do, and become a more compassionate human being.

How about you?
Photos courtesy of Special Olympics. Used with permission.