The idea of being imprisoned or even killed for standing up for what you believe in, is a scary and often distant thought in today’s society. With the right to freedom of speech you don’t often have to think of these as consequences, but for many it was their reality. In the past most instances of breaking the law for a higher good revolved around minorities because they were not looked upon to have the same rights as those of European descent. It is because of the brave individuals who stood their ground and with that stood up for what they believed in, to get their point across and their voices heard, even if it meant to stay sitting.
Can you imagine having to break the law just so you could make a positive difference in the long run? Sounds like an oxymoron but in reality it made a world of difference. Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin are the first women to come to mind. They were the first two women in history to refuse to give up their seat to a white man. In doing such they broke the law of segregation and with that made a lasting statement that is still carried with us today. Their actions not only landed them in jail but in the history books as well. By making these public political statements these two women helped to jump-start the movement on equal rights and gain a strong following along the way. Another example of breaking the law for the greater good is that of Harriet Tubman. Harriet not only escaped slavery but went back to lead many more slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Not only did she break the law but she put her life in danger, though she knew the consequences if caught she carried on because she knew in the end the benefit would be greater than the cost.
The idea of breaking the law for the greater good is one that for me is hard to grasp. I think one would have to be in a situation where they were pushed to their limit, a long lasting fight within themselves or the community. I don’t know that any one of us could say we would break the law to format change, that is until we crossed paths with a movement that we believed in with all of our heart and soul. I believe when the right conditions are met and the mindset cannot be argued, positive change can come from civil disobedience, looking at history it made a world of difference and I believe it will continue to do so for generations to come.