Saturday, October 29, 2005

Obligatory Rosa Parks article

The death of Rosa Parks has been in the news lately. In fact I think I'm the only person in the blogosphere whose blog might occasionally touch on political issues that did not cover it. I did not do this because I felt it fell outside of the scope of my blog.

However, what Rosa Parks did shows us a good example of the nature of courage. Our actions sometimes have far broader implications than we intended. I doubt Rosa Parks set out to start the modern civil rights movement that day she refused to give up her seat on the bus. In fact, I think she was tired and cranky and rightfully did not think it was just since she paid the same amount as other passengers. It was also a move that had been coming a long time after a lifetime of dealing with such frustrations..

Isn't it amazing how sometimes seemingly minor things can lead to big changes? I doubt when she refused to give up the seat it was the first time something like this had happened in the United States, but at the time national attention was focused on it and then much needed civil rights legislation came because of it..

Rarely does a hero set out and think to himself or herself: “I'm going to be a hero.” The motivations are almost always entirely different. Sometimes they are born of noble ideals, other just simple frustration, and occasionally just sheer accident may put someone in the right time at the right place to do something.

I know I'll never be a hero or celebrity of her caliber, and I don't feel that I owe a debt to her in any particular way. On the other hand, I cannot deny that her courage really did change the world, or at least our country. May we all have the courage to do what is right regardless of our motivations.


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