Note: There is discrimination all around us regarding just about anything. Whether it’s race, gender identity, or the fact that a man won’t buy a woman’s razor because it’s pink, discrimination is an ever-present issue in our society. This post is not meant to get political. It is simply trying to point out how one person dealt with discrimination in her lifetime. Try and apply this to your life, in whatever way it applies.
February is Black History Month and we all have faced discrimination of some sort in our lives. Maybe a woman wouldn’t date you because you’re too short. Maybe you’ve had someone “mansplain” at you. Maybe, like Ms. Rosa Parks, you have dealt with discrimination because of the amount of melanin you have. More than likely, you have dealt with it in some shape or form. Rosa Parks is one of the most famous individuals to stand up against racism. On December 1, 1955, she made history by refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a segregated bus. I feel like we all can learn something from her. In this “Spotlight,” I’m not going to give an autobiography. Instead, let’s talk about the life lessons that we can all take away from Ms. Parks.
- There is nothing wrong with being average. You don’t need to be strong or famous or boisterous to be a leader. Every single day, someone who is considered “average” or “normal” is making changes in the world.
- Being quiet can speak volumes. Ms. Parks didn’t stand up on the bus and start shouting obscenities. She simply refused to move. Remember that silence is a choice just as much as speaking up…and it can say a lot.
- Courage makes the world go ’round. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt) Your reaction to fear – whether to take up arms or shrink away – says a lot about you.
- We can choose a way instead of violence. People throughout history have been recognized for their peaceful protests, including Ms. Parks. Violence begets violence, and people usually don’t listen when they’re being yelled at.
- Find a different way. When you’ve seen acts that have gotten people nowhere, look at what else you can do instead. Look at ways that you can make a change, in a way that provides actual results.