Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi from India, for their extraordinary work in standing for the right of all children to an education. For most of us in the western world, speaking up may require courage, but rarely does it require us to risk our lives as was the case for Malala.
She was not allowed to go to school as a girl because of Talibanization. Here is an excerpt from her story:
“At that time I stood up for my rights and I decided that I would speak up. I did not wait for someone else. I had really two options. One was not to speak and then be killed. The second was to speak up and and then be killed. . . At that time I needed to raise my voice because I wanted to go back to school. . . I wanted to learn and to be who I can be in my future.”
She took a stand for herself, and in the process took a stand for the children of the world. She goes on to say something we can all learn from when we are faced with the choice to speak up or not in our own lives.
“Through my story I want to tell other children all around the world they should stand up for their rights. They should not wait for someone else and their voices are more powerful. . . It would seem their voices would be weak, [but] their voices are more powerful. At the time when no one speaks your voice gets so loud that everyone has to listen to it – everyone has to hear it.”
In other words, when no one is willing to speak up about something of great importance to many, that is when your voice is most likely to be heard, regardless of your age or your status. tweet this
I encourage you to take the time to listen to this extraordinary young woman speak from her heart and take a stand that truly matters in the world.
Are you willing to speak up now?
photo credit: United Nations Information Centres