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Remembering Rosa Parks

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, October 27, 2005

This week marks the passing of a great individual, a humble yet bold human being. After a long life of encountering and overcoming struggle, Rosa Lee Parks, “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” passed away to lay in the arms of her Heavenly Father. The life of this woman spoke to the inner yearning of every human being to be free – to experience life fully, wholly, as the creation God has called us to be. Between both Tuskegee and Montgomery, Ala., Parks grew up in a world covered by the blankets of racism, discrimination and segregation. In the heart of the Deep South, Parks, like everyone around her, had the choice to either accept her circumstances or step out on faith, believing, like other African-Americans, that “a change is gonna come.” On Dec. 1, 1955, she made her decision official. I’m sure you’re aware of the story, but know that her sitting was indeed a statement to actually stand. She decided to stand for truth with a humble confidence in the fact that if no one else stood with her, she had God Almighty on her side. Parks felt that her statement was much more important than anything Man could do to her.

Today, I stand in reverence of the boldness of her action and indeed the entire life that she led standing up for human dignity, justice and common good. These are universal principles that every man, woman, boy and girl yearns for in their inner selves. We can all take away inspiration and a call to action from the life of Parks. It’s not a “black thing;” it’s a human thing. As Gandhi taught, we must be the change we want to see in the world. Sometimes it doesn’t take a grand act or a big scene to make a change. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fears, our presence automatically liberates others.” Go ahead, free yourself.

Krystal HardyjuniorCavanaughOct. 26