“No.” –Rosa Parks
No matter what anyone tells you, words do have power. When you back those words with action then real change happens. Look at Rosa Parks, she was a woman of few words in her moment of challenge but the action she took in standing (well sitting) her ground is what made history. Rosa didn’t give a speech that day on the bus, she wasn’t forceful or combative but she was courageous, focused, and firm. A simple “No” and the action of remaining seated landed her in the history books and paved the way for changes no one could have imagined at the time. Later when talking about the situation Rosa declined being discussed as a hero or an activist, she simply stated that she was tired and needed the seat. Humble in nature and a true leader who challenged the world’s views by one simple word and a few moments of rest after a long day.
It sparks hope in my life because I want so much to have an impact that lasts but it can be hard to see how one person can really do much on their own. Rosa reminds us that our words are powerful, our actions spark change, and the combination of the two can go against immeasurable odds to transform the world. Start thinking more about the words you use, the actions you take, and the legacy you are leaving behind.
I know I am.
Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer.