Rosa Parks.

I love Rosa Parks, just an ordinary lady who changed America by her defiance not to give up her seat for a white passenger. She got arrested which triggered a mass bus boycott, which snowballed with people talking to the streets in protest marches (with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech). Eventually racial segregation was outlawed and attitudes changed (so much so that in 2008 Barack Obama became the first ever black President of the United States).

Why that day she refused we don’t know -although we do know she’d worked late and was tired. Yet for some reason she had had enough. Something inside her said “No”.

Rosa Parks was a Christian, she went to Martin Luther King’s Church, perhaps it was the Holy Spirits quickening and emboldening that made her stay seated and remain seated?

The driver shouted at her, the other passengers got angry, the police were called and she was arrested, yet despite all this she remained sat on her chair! I wonder if I had been in her shoes would I have capitulated, back down and given in?

Rosa Parks showed great bravery not just in her act of defiance but in her refusal despite the pressure she remained steadfast and resolute.

Yet it was costly for Rosa Parks who lost her job as did her husband. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Many black people were murdered, lynched, by white supremacists. Many more were arrested, beaten up and imprisoned. Even now blacks make up 12% of the American population but 33% of the prison population, and black Americans are twice as likely as white people to be unemployed.nica It was, and is, a costly battle, with a long way to go until we see real and true equality.

Rosa Parks risked the comfort of her today for the dream, the possibility -however slight- of a better tomorrow (at the time there was no certainty that they would succeed) but she did her bit that caused a domino effect that changed America and the world.

The thing I like most about Rosa Parks is her ordinaryness, she did not hold elected office nor was she famous, just an ordinary woman going about her evetyday daily life, when she made a decision and changed the world.

Perhaps there is something that you need to say “no more” too, something that is not right that you have been living with or aware of for too long?

It takes a special form of courage and faith to build and plant seeds for a future you might never see in your life time.

Maybe you feel that the chance of success is small and wonder what your small action can achieve? -If so, let Rosa Parks story embolden you to do your bit, do the right thing even if it is costly, because small things can, and do, alter the course of human history.

You might be in a situation where you are tempted to give in for an easy and more comfortable life, if so, hold firm and don’t move, wobble or budge if you believe it is right.


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