Dec 28, 2017
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Be Like Rosa Parks

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Society is strong. Social constructs are stronger.

Ideas, norms, conventions that are agreed upon by a certain social group will be perceived as true and unable to be disputed.

No matter how arbitrary a certain behavior or a rule might be, people will comply with it so long as others around them are complying as well, without even questioning it. History can only prove this.

As history progresses, people become aware of the arbitrariness of the norms previous generations went by. It is however extremely difficult for a member of a certain social group to question the conventions of her society and subvert them. Rosa Parks did just that.

Narratives construed according to the notion of white supremacy claimed for no sensible reason that African-Americans are inferior and less capable of the white Anglo-Saxon, and society surrendered to these narrative as given truths. Rosa Parks had the ability to see beyond these construed “truths” and the courage to say “no!” to them.

Although it was clear that defying these “truths” meant putting her life in danger, losing her job, and having to deal with a myriad of death threats, she insisted on never giving up hear own seat, literally and figuratively. This refusal is a call for people to open their eyes to the meaninglessness and arbitrariness of the societal rules they are blindly following.

I view myself as someone who does not entirely conform to societal rules, someone who has the ability to stand for herself and say “no” as well. It will be untrue to claim that I am not a member of the herd, to claim that I am different. I am well aware that there are many behaviors I perform daily only because I was told they are the right things to do. I inherited them without even questioning them. I eat meat without feeling guilty because everyone around me does, for instance. But to defy society you need knowledge and courage, and to attain these I push myself every morning out of bed.

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1 Comment on "Be Like Rosa Parks"

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Sam Iam

I agree 🙂
I like how you acknowledge that everyone has herd behaviours that we must strive to analyse and resist, though I would add that sometimes the herd mentality and behaviour is beneficial and maybe even necessary.

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