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Farewell Rosa

Tuesday, October 25 2005

Rosa Parks died today (well, yesterday now) at the age of 92, a respectable age for someone who motivated significant change in how the US government and population treated racial segregation. I’ve known about Rosa Parks and her story since junior high, but it didn’t occur to me until today that she’s been alive all this time. While I’m not sure I can be sad about someone who passes at the age of 92, I am sad that I didn’t realize that there was this woman who showed incredible courage and wrought such change, and lived to see that change up until today.

Of course I see this as my own personality flaw. Surely there are people alive now who have in the past changed the course of human events in significant ways, and here I go about my days oblivious to what they’re doing now. When thinking of Rosa Parks, I can’t help but think about how her life after not giving up a seat on a bus must have been, what kind of family she leaves behind, and what she thought of politics and the state of things in the world today.

Perhaps even more sad – while I’d love to be able to learn the history and lives of people like Rosa Parks, I can’t think of who’s alive today that one might consider legendary. It’s not that there isn’t any, it’s that I truly don’t know.

Who would you like to spend time with today who you feel made a significant impact on improving the lives of others, either by fighting for civil rights, making scientific discoveries, etc? Who are the legends that walk amongst us?