I used to think it took a great, strong person with conviction to be a champion of a cause. We’ve all heard about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, great people who have accomplished great things. I used to encourage students to reach out and change the world, and to tackle on an issue of their choosing with vivacity and intensity. I tended to look at the macro scale of change, without looking at changing my own world on the micro level.
I recently read a brief biography of Rosa Parks and I was surprised to learn that she was a quiet, almost timid woman who was soft-spoken. But her beliefs of equality and doing what was right for her is what made her a remarkable paladin. She simply saw that she did not have to give up her seat; she did not expect to start a movement.
This helps me to see that it is these little acts of bravery that creates a person and their values. You can smile at one person and do something for them. You may not be changing the world, but you’re changing their world. I can be a paladin of compassion for my friends, and I can champion the cause of making my world better by continuously building connections and encouraging my own personal growth.