Last Sunday’s New York Times Style section featured a story on Jesse Jackson, Jr., who’s been struggling with bi-polar disorder and recently resigned from his post as U.S. Congressman. It was a moving story, but what jumped out at me was not the pain of having an organic illness that sidelines a career. What jumped out at me was the tragedy of being born into a family that had nothing but the best intentions for you, but that somehow (unwittingly) got it so wrong.
“I grew up in a house with great expectations,” the younger Mr. Jackson told The Chicago Tribune in 1995, months before he first ran for Congress. “Everything I do has a mark of excellence on it.”
“If I want to be a lawyer, that’s not enough,” added Mr. Jackson, who has a law degree and a master’s in theology. “I need to be a Supreme Court justice one day. If I wanted to be an elected official, that’s not enough. ‘One day, son, you may be president.’ ”