Some leaders teach us lessons that transcend time, situation, and distance, as the following illustrates:
On a chilly December 1, 1955, on a street in Birmingham Alabama, a 42-year-old seamstress got on board a segregated bus to return home after a long day of work, taking a seat near the middle, just behind the front “white” section. At the next stop, more passengers got on. When every seat in the white section was taken, the bus driver ordered the black passengers in the middle row to stand so a white man could sit. The seamstress refused.
Rosa Parks, a soft-spoken African-American seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a white man, breaking existing segregation laws. The flawless character and quiet strength she exhibited successfully ignited action in others. For this, many believe Rosa Parks’ act was the event that sparked the Civil Rights movement. More importantly her repose in the light of such extraordinary threats should serve as an example to each of us. Our point of view is best served when opposition is carried out in the context of quiet resistance. Reacting to events in a loud verbose fashion or via inflammatory emails does nothing to advance a principled and robust viewpoint.