Sunday, April 25, 2010

Composure of a Sphinx

So just finished reading the JFK book. The author, Robert Dallek, stated that JFK had the "composure of a sphinx"- not really sure what that means- but as I kept reading, it all made sense.

Similar to a sphinx, JFK holds his head high and remains a strong figure to those around him. He was always confident and calm and had an army of followers who believe in him and help him get to where he needs to be. JFK once said, “A reporter is reporting what happens. He is not making it happen. He isn’t participating.” JFK did everything he could to be an instigator of change and participated in that change.

By analyzing the government and noticing ways to change the way things were run, JFK stood on the shoulders of greatness and single-handedly improved the way the US government was running. Sphinxes (not sure if that is the plural- sphinxi??) usually depict the head of a royal family member on a lion. The lion itself is a symbol of greatness and royalty- strength and power. Using that as a structure to depict a member of a royal family is literally putting them on the shoulders of greatness.“The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determining whether we use the power or power uses us” (203).

JFK is one of those people who see where he would like to be in the future and powers through until he gets there. “At the age of twenty-three, Jack understood that he needed a life-work, just as important, he had considerable confidence that he would succeed. His background and experience had created a belief in himself as someone special, as standing apart from the many other talented, promising young men he had met at home and abroad. His privileged life had opened the way for success, but it was hardly the full measure of what would make for an uncommon life” (68)

JFK's life ended prematurely- he had not finished with what he started. So as a sphinx guards the dead, I leave you with this- “How can there be any possibility in…death?” (154)


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