Amidst the daily explosions in her neighborhood, dreams were never crushed. Beliefs were always held in tact. Women are not held with the same authority as men in the Muslim culture. Let alone a mere girl having any authority. But Malala was determined to give a voice to children and females alike to herself. She fought for the opportunity to get an education and an increased amount of women’s rights for all. She spoke out in a way unique to the modern generation- via blogging. She shared her voice with the world. She gave the BBC an inside look to her life under Taliban suppression.
A voice may have been from one girl in Pakistan, but it was heard loudly across the world. Her voice was so powerful that it uproar the oppressors. The Taliban came after her with vengeance and attempted to kill her, shooting her while she was on a school bus. She was hit with a bullet that went through her head and lodged in her shoulder. But she remained fearless. She underwent countless surgeries and rehabilitation sessions to regain her health. The world saw what she endured and banned together to protect her and her father. She continues to speak for all, fighting for peace. Not afraid to risk her vulnerability, for the greater good. A true leader. Truly a young soul wise beyond her years.
Stories of inspiration give the mind a rush, a fuel on hope. They give you the power to dream, the belief that you too can do something great. But reality settles in that the journey will not be easy. We all have some sort of obstacle that seems too challenging to overcome. Many times we are discouraged to even attempt a goal for fear of failure. But how would change come if no one tries. How will you grow as a person if you don’t experience failure. It may seem cliche to say that one will not truly be satisfied with success if they don’t know the taste of failure, but it is the truth. When we are truly passionate about something we must leave behind our shell and reveal our vulnerabilities to reach our dreams. Whether the shell is shyness, to fear of a lost investment, they must be shed.
For this new year perhaps we can all think of a dream or goal that we are passionate about, and think of all of the shell(s) we have that stop us from pursuing it. We can think of ways to shed them and truly let our minds and souls be satisfied when we reach them. Just as Malala has said “we realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Don’t waste your precious voice. Some are fighting very hard for their own.
--Kelli Sunabe, Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders' Intern
All rights reserved. Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders. 2014