As I prepare our JFK Communications team for our 14th year supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, I am feeling very privileged. I live in the best country in the world with freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. I was lucky to grow up in rural New Jersey in a large family with strong moral values and a stronger work ethic. In additional to many family activities I recall an emphasis on education and A LOT of chores!
But more important, I remember learning about those less fortunate than us. I learned that if we all put our problems in the middle of the table we would fight to get our problems back. We raised money, we walked, we volunteered.
I was born fifth out of six as John Francis Kouten (JFK). John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated, and, not by accident, my name was an homage to this great leader. In addition to his countless accomplishments (e.g., Marine medal of heroism in WW II, averting war with Russia, civil rights supporter, gender equality, etc.) JFK, the president, believed in the healing properties of selfless service.
Politics aside (and any other bias you may have against President Kennedy), I am a firm believer in his vision, which is captured in his famous quote: