Waco Walks Proud: The Rose Street Path of Pride, Vision, and Justice
by Mike Mallick
In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner is told to “build it and they will come.” On Rose Street, in the heart of East Waco, we have dreams big enough to fill a field: Dreams of proud families. Dreams of a proud history. Dreams of heroes. On Rose Street, dreams don’t come true; dreams are true. The heroes on our street built the Rose Street Path of Pride, Vision, and Justice to celebrate the greatness of humanity, the greatness of a neighborhood, and the greatness of dreams. “Build it for they have come.”
The Rose Street Path is a labyrinth, a walking path where the shade cools, the birds sing, and the route twists and turns in ever intriguing and unexpected directions, like the path of life itself. The greatness of humanity is that life is always complete, yet always advancing at the same time. As you walk along the path, your life is already complete, already heroic, and already successful, and yet each step brings about even more success. At the very center of the path is the place of completion, a place to relax on a shaded park bench and celebrate your life, a life of success, accomplishment, and gifts. It’s the place where your heroes stand proud of you each and every step of the way. Heroes you know, and heroes you don’t know. The hero within each and every one of us. God, the greatest hero of all.
Pride is having the whole world in front of you and heroes behind you. Being proud means that you lift people up without exception, no matter what, even when it hurts. On Rose Street, we don’t just talk about pride, we live it. We’re proud of parents. All of them. We’re proud of neighbors. All of them. We’re proud of you. All of you. And we’re proud no matter what. Being proud means knowing that there’s always someone standing behind you who’s proud of you. Always. Even when you don’t see it. On Rose Street, we have the courage to turn around and see who’s behind us. We have the courage to have heroes. We have the courage to Stand Proud.
Vision is the knowledge that the whole world in front of you is your gift to the heroes behind you. Our heroes (and God, the greatest hero of all) can know everything about us except one thing: They can’t know that they’re more important to us than the path before us, whatever that path may be, until we acknowledge them. On Rose Street, we turn around and look our heroes in the eye. We know that every glance behind us is a triumph over every sight in front of us. Every single one. There’s no such thing as an unsuccessful day. There’s no such thing as an unsuccessful life. Everything we do is a gift to God, to our heroes, and to the hero within us all. Everything. That’s what life is all about.
Justice is the knowledge that life is always greater than where you are, and love is always greater than who you are. Justice is standing behind all, bearing the burdens of all, in order to lift all. In the same way that life is always complete, yet always advancing, injustice has already been overcome, yet is daily being overcome. That’s simply what families do, and on Rose Street, we’re all family. Our family is our neighborhood, our city, and our world. Our family is you. On Rose Street we have the courage to lift up everyone, the just and the unjust, even when it hurts, in order to fight injustice every step of the way. We don’t talk the talk. We walk the walk. And we lift a whole city.
Walk with us and stand with us at this place of heroes! The Path is always open, and is located at 311 Rose Street, 3 blocks off Elm Avenue, on the right side of the street. Rose Street intersects Elm at Tony DeMaria’s BBQ, just past the East Waco Library. Please visit our website at www.riversidepride.org to share your dreams and share your walk! At the Rose Street Path, we stand proud. We walk proud. We make dreams come true.
Mike Mallick is a Wacoan who stands behind everyone in the city, except in the realm of beards. He works with individuals, companies, and charities to build impact, strategies, and dreams.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.