Updated: Mar 16, 2020
The Rosa Parks story conjures up memories of an unthinkable time when black Americans were denied rights afforded to whites, when the races were segregated on buses and in restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, and when people of color were abused and mistreated. At the same time, the Rosa Parks story is an inspiring and heroic one, as her simple act of bravery and defiance in refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955 to a white man sparked a civil rights movement that forever changed America. I have thought of Rosa Parks many times over the years as I've glanced at a saying that hangs on the wall near my computer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
For most black Americans in the 1950s, it was a given that they could not change their conditions. Fortunately, however, Rosa Parks believed she could help change the way she and her race were treated, and she had the courage to act on that conviction. Little did she know at the time that her individual act of defiance would lead to a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ,who would go on to become the greatest civil rights leader in American history.
And she certainly could not have dreamed that her action would light a fire under a movement that led to the critically important Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One person can make a difference. Too many people believe they are powerless to have an impact on their own lives and the lives of those around them. Don't be one of those people.
Speak up, write a letter, talk to a mover and shaker, join or organize a group, do whatever it takes to improve your lot or the lot of those about whom you are concerned. You may not launch a national movement, but you just might help some individual or group of individuals in a meaningful way. One person can make a difference.
Too many people believe they are powerless to have an impact on their own lives and the lives of those around them. Don't be one of those people. In the 1960s, when a whole generation was inspired to "make a difference" - an individual can make a difference, and can help change life in a community for the better. The issue may not be as huge and dramatic as the one in which Rosa Parks played such a key role. But you can make a significant contribution toward the improved quality of life of your family, of your neighborhood, of your community. Rosa Parks has taught us so much.
Ask yourself today - What are you doing to make a difference in your life, and the lives of those around you?
Much Love Sister,