A Legacy of Freedom

“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” Rosa Parks

I’m young enough that I don’t think every day about my death, but it is in the back of my mind.  I know that life is very temporary and can end at any time without warning.  I do have relatives and friends much older than I who I do reflect on their passing or inevitable passing from time to time. Since a relative passed away unexpectedly over the Christmas holidays this year it really made me focus more on spending time with those I do have in my life and want to spend more time with before they pass on.  It’s healthy to occasionally think about what comes next, and what the world will say about you after you’ve gone on.

Knowing all that you may about who Rosa Parks was, this quote is so in line with everything that’s been said about her.  She stood up for her rights on that bus so many years ago, probably not even considering that her name would be revered through the ages.  She didn’t sit in that seat for the notoriety, it just happened that way.  But instead of saying that she wanted to be remembered for being the lady on the bus who refused to give up her seat, she focused on the larger goal of her actions: freedom.

Who doesn’t want freedom? In one way or another we’re all striving to be free.  Free from fear, hatred, pain, mistreatment, loneliness, the list could go on.  But only the bravest of us actually stay in that seat in that critical moment.  Most of us look longingly at that freedom as it runs past us and we turn away.  Maybe it’s simply fear, maybe it’s worry about the changes that freedom would bring us.  But whatever it is, it’s time to stop running.  As Rosa Parks pointed out, if not for ourselves then for others.

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