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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rosa Parks - One small act that changed our world for the better: National Cathedral Tribute

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
  ~Anne Frank

Anne Frank did not live long enough through the heinous discrimination of the Holocaust to see the world changed for the better, like she innocently envisioned in her quote.  Anne Frank died in 1945, in Bergen-Belsen.

Rosa Parks, considered the First Lady of Civil Rights, lived from February 4, 1913 to October 24, 2005, long enough to fulfill Anne Frank's vision of an improving world, where discrimination is overcome by respect.  It was one simple act of non-violent civil disobedience on December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, that raised the long dormant racial social conscience of our nation and inspired the Civil Rights Movement.  In spite of years of turmoil to overcome racial discrimination, the world has become a better place for Negroes, since the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery public transit bus, because of her Negro race.

In honor of her courage, the National Cathedral in Washington DC recognized Rosa Parks with the dedication of a sculpture of her created by Chas Fagan and stone carver Sean Callahan, located on the Human Rights Porch.

I wish more churches would honor modern heroes who were tested by the challenges of their times, especially as America is divided by political theory, ie, conservative, ultra conservative, moderate and progressive. Right now, we need heroes to honor, people who make the world better.  In fact, people unite during dedication ceremonies, where plaques, memorial benches and sculptures remind us to live our lives in the spirit of Anne Frank, Rosa Parks and others who have believed and acted so the world can be a better place.

Isn't it wonderful to be able to enter a sanctuary where we might even recognize and identify with the likenesses of people who have made the world a better place? Holy statues are lovely, but a mix of saints and locally inspirational heroes are a Godly mix.

At the time, Rosa Parks probably didn't know she fulfilled the vision of Anne Frank on December 1, 1955, when she did not waste a single moment to help change the world.

Each of us has the capacity to improve the world today. We're able to put aside personal ideologies for the sake of compromise and work together to change our world.  Indeed, every human being has the responsibility to make the world a better place, but we may need another heroine of ordinary status to raise our conscientiousness, like Rosa Parks and Anne Frank.

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