11.01.2005

Remembering Rosa Parks

"All I was doing was trying to get home from work." --Rosa Parks

Think about a long, hard day at your job, whatever it is (even for you stay-home moms). I don't know what the weather was like. But, I doubt there was either air conditioning or heating of any worth. Add to it being a minority in a pre-civil rights and pre-Politically Correct world. People had the same negative thoughts and feelings towards those they didn't understand. But, in her day, they expressed that prejudice in their words and actions.

It's so easy for us to talk about Rosa Parks as a hero, and she was. However, it is important to remember that this was a women who simply worked all day as a seamstress and had one thing on her mind: to get home. I would imagine that the conditions under which she worked were not the most comfortable or pleasant. Far from it.

She walked to the bus station, then dragged herself onto the bus. She went to the open seat in the front row of the colored section. Not the front of the bus, the front of the back!

Her refusal to let the white man take her seat was not planned. There was no strategy. She had no feminist movement or civil rights movement to join or to imitate. She was not trying to make a political, social or economic statement. No book deal to negotiate.

She was one woman, trying to make her way home.

So often, we associate heroes and celebrities with special status. They get to be super-human. They live in a world other than our own. They are somehow better than us. We can come to believe, perhaps subconsciously, that because they are inherently special, they are inherently courageous, articulate and virtuous.

Yet, what makes them special is that they are ordinary people just like you and me. They have the same struggles with insecurity and fear and the same love and concern for their loved ones. If they didn't have the same obstacles, then there would be nothing heroic about their actions. Rosa Parks was a normal, very human woman who could have done any number of things in the moment she was asked to give up her seat. She chose to stay. And, that decision changed the course of history.

As we take a moment to honor the "mother" of the civil rights movement, consider the opportunities facing us everyday. There is no way Rosa Parks, her family or friends could have predicted the weight and the consequence of that moment.

Every one of us possesses the same heroic potential. May we never forget the power of the choices we make. One man said, "When I consider the tremendous consequences of little things, I'm tempted to think that there's no such thing as a little thing."

Thank God for the "little thing" Rosa Parks did. We are forever grateful for and indebted to her.

God bless.

7 Comments:

At 11/01/2005 07:35:00 AM, Blogger Mom of 4 said...

"May we never forget the power of the choices we make."

I believe that we also need to realize that the choices we make in response to our circumstances and events (good or bad) do not affect only ourselves. Our acts of courage can shape a nation, and our acts of selfishness can destroy our little world around us.

"There was no strategy."

We may not be able to plan these opportunities and strategize, but as we build our character in truth, we position ourselves to respond and react to make our "heroic potential" a reality.

 
At 11/01/2005 09:54:00 AM, Anonymous aj4runner said...

"Yet, what makes them special is that they are ordinary people just like you and me. They have the same struggles with insecurity and fear and the same love and concern for their loved ones. If they didn't have the same obstacles, then there would be nothing heroic about their actions. Rosa Parks was a normal, very human woman who could have done any number of things in the moment she was asked to give up her seat. She chose to stay. And, that decision changed the course of history."

One thing that Rush Limbaugh says all the time is what makes America great is when ordinary people do extraordinary things. Rosa Parks did just that.

---

"Every one of us possesses the same heroic potential. May we never forget the power of the choices we make. One man said, "When I consider the tremendous consequences of little things, I'm tempted to think that there's no such thing as a little thing." "

The 'little things' that we all do in our everyday lives for others fill in the gaps ("cracks") that people might otherwise fall through...

 
At 11/01/2005 04:20:00 PM, Blogger JCOsmom said...

"May we never forget the power of the choices we make."

So many people say they wish that they had the courage to do this or that when we hear of heroic and brave efforts. I believe the power to make the right choices in the small things day after day enables us to be the one who is brave when a situation calls for that.

Just as the Bible says to be ready in season and out, Rosa Parks was ready most likely because she had made consistent decisions of character in the small things day after day.

I agree with you, Mom of 4, that we need to build our character in truth. It is sticking to the truth day after day, in the mundane things and the things we think we no one would notice, to the big things that consume most of our thoughts, that prepare us for the moment our "heroic potential" is given a shot.

 
At 11/01/2005 04:30:00 PM, Anonymous david said...

Amen.

 
At 11/02/2005 05:32:00 AM, Blogger Goat said...

Right on Lores, the power to overcome, it is the most powerful especially when driven by the Lord as she went to her Minister first the unknown Dr. King.I blogged on this recently as well, perhaps you read it.

 
At 11/02/2005 06:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

l saw the movie about rosa parks'life and struggles in life time, what a courageous woman she was. may she rest in peace.

 
At 11/02/2005 09:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one thing I love about Rosa Parks, that cannot be said of most of the Civil Rights leaders or those who claim to speak for African Americans or in general those who speak for "rights" . She is perceived as having no guile, the reason I say perceived is I do not know her personally or know the details of her life. But she really had no affiliation with the right or the left, liberal or conservative, no hype, or no preconceived plan for media attention. We all can share in her moment.

 

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