There is something you care deeply about and would love to see change. Grab a shovel and start digging a foundation of change and you’ll be surprised how quickly your foundation becomes a cause others join in and start digging alongside with you.
Every great social movement began with an idea and an individual or group of people who said, “this has to change and I(we) are going to do something about it.” Perhaps one of the most famous Agents of Social Change in America, who took a stand or more appropriately took a seat was Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was a black social activist who was a member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in the 1950’s and part of an organized group of courageous black leaders that wanted to change the laws that seperated Americans of color from whites. For years, there was a standard in America that it was satisfactory to maintain ‘seperate but equal’ facilities. Schools, bathrooms, drinking fountains, seats on buses, and virtually every part of American life had a clear boundary between blacks and whites. Moreover, this seperation had allowed Americans of color to be oppressed, brutalized, and treated with the most inhumane injustice.
But a movement to change these circumstances had been growing since the 19th century when slavery had ended in America and had continued to the mid 20th century. At this time in history, enough people had picked up shovels and came alongside other courageous builders to challenge the status quo, but they needed a moment to motivate a socially inspiring call to action. So, the organizers of the NAACP decided they were going to stage a boycott of the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 1, 1955, Parks boarded the bus and took a seat normally reserved for white passenger only. As the bus continued to pick up passengers, a white male boarded and demanded the seat Parks was sitting in. When she refused, the bus was boarded by police and she was arrested. This caused a groundswell of sympathizers to come together and led to a 381 day strike of the Montgomery bus line. Eventually, the bus company caved and changed their policy and other regions of the south began to also stage their own political stands for change.
Yes, Rosa Parks was extremely courageous to have taken this stand and be the Agent of Social Change that would spur a social storm that continues today. There has been progress in our racial barriers in America and around the world. Yet, there is still digging to do. As well, there is digging to do in many other socially reprehensible places in the world. Gender inequality, iliteracy, poverty, human trafficking, global climate change, pollution-waste management, income disparity, political corruption, discrimination, bullying, animal abuse, and many other social issues are waiting for someone to pick up a shovel and start digging.
So what do you want to change today? Is there a cause that is speaking to you? Don’t worry about having it all figured out before you begin. If you just begin, you will be amazed at the energy, drive, and passion you’ll find. God bless your journey to change something that needs your care and love in the world.
Rosa Parks and other Agents of Social Change are covered in Wavers & Beggars, New Insight and Hope to End Poverty and Global Challenges