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To strive, to seek, to find. . .

Alfred Lord Tennyson was inspired by adventure, courage, a desire to understand, and love of freedom. So was Jacqueline Kennedy, who was ten when she memorized Tennyson’s poem Ulysses with her grandfather.

In The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, her daughter Caroline Kennedy says that she introduced Ulysses to John F. Kennedy, who often quoted from it in his speeches.

I think that Jacqueline Kennedy was right in believing that “All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words.” Words frame our thoughts, and our thoughts become deeds and our deeds become the way we live.

Tennyson describes those who face impossible challenges and refuse to quit, despite sorrows, losses, illness, poverty, and old age.

Come my friends
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. . .
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are, -
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.