On Saturday, September 26th, the world will celebrate Eunice Kennedy Shriver the Founder of Special Olympics. To think that the very thought of Special Olympics was birthed in her backyard in the early 1960’s at what was called Camp Shriver, and has now grown into a movement serving over four million people with intellectual disabilities in over 100 countries is beyond amazing.
If you ever had the chance to listen to Mrs. Shriver – you know that much of what she accomplished had a lot to do with the tone of her voice. As you listened to her words, regardless of who you were – you couldn’t help but be influenced by her tone. In his book, Fully Alive, her son Timothy reminded me of the power of that.
“In the years before Camp Shriver, my mother had spent much of her professional energy touring facilities for people with intellectual disabilities. That experience had led her to the point of fury and frustration, because the suffering of the people she met was so extreme, and so little was being done. Some combination of pain, outrage, and enthusiasm galvanized her to act.”
One woman’s fury, forever showing up in the tone of her voice – galvanized a whole lot of us to act – changing the world we live in. I love the thought of that. We salute you, Mrs. Shriver.