There are heroes for causes and there are heroes for humanity.
Today we introduce you to the latter; a 17 year old girl who may go down as one of the most influential women in the history of man-kind, for if she has her turn at shaping the future, “man” will become kinder to all children.
If she has her way, everyone will have the opportunity of an equal education, and the whole world will be able to lurch forward with progress.
Why a Hero for Humankind?
You’ve probably heard of Malala Yousafzai, who at age 17, is the first Pakistani and youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize, and she’s the best spokesperson for the voices of the children of the world (wait until you hear her speak in a moment!).
This is not just a simple feel good story today. Stay with this.
I thought I knew all I needed to know and then I watched a half dozen different videos of Malala’s speaking engagements and I was bowled over by her magnetism. I tried to pick two that would give you some idea of the scope of her personal charisma and eternal wisdom, and I think you’ll see she seems somehow, otherworldly.
Dr. Chuck, my husband and co-founder here at EWC watched Malala and her father in these two talks, and was literally speechless (… he talks a lot, so that’s saying something!)
You may know one of the toughest parts of Malala’s story: In 2012, Taliban insurgents boarded Malala’s school bus and shot her along with three other school girls at point blank range. It is nothing short of a miracle that all three survived. And the positive part of this story?… Her efforts to support education for all children have not wavered and she continues to speak with an extraordinary wisdom.
Did you know 66 million girls on the planet are deprived and education? 66 million! I had no idea of the scope of the problem she is championing.
With that one statistic, we have hobbled ourselves as a species. We can’t possibly solve the problems we’ve created if we are missing that much brain power. Here’s something that Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said to an assemble group:
Bill Gates recalls once being invited to speak in Saudi Arabia and finding himself facing a segregated audience. Four-fifths of the listeners were men, on the left. The remaining one-fifth were women, all covered in black cloaks and veils, on the right. A partition separated the two groups. Toward the end, in the question-and-answer session, a member of the audience noted that Saudi Arabia aimed to be one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology by 2010 and asked if that was realistic. “Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country [suppressing women],” Gates said, “you’re not going to get too close to the Top 10.” The small group on the right erupted in wild cheering.” 1
I know Ever Widening Circles has many, many fans from places that do not give all children the same opportunities, but I’m going to have to agree with Bill Gates. It’s just the math of brain power folks:
Thoughtful people realize that if we don’t release the total creative potential of every human mind on the planet, we can never solve the problems that we have created.
Malala is doing something about this and it will be a gift to us all as she succeeds.
Now without further ado, take some time to listen to one of the best public speakers I have ever heard. Ever. She wastes not a word and we hang on her pauses. It seems we could applaud almost every sentence. Enjoy…
Here’s Malala Yousafzai – just a few weeks before she won the Nobel Peace Prize – in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.
There is a 7 minute introduction, that will really get you up to speed about this remarkable young woman, so hang in there! What a corker! You can see her dad knows he has his hands full!
“Magnificent” is too small a word for her genius. Now enjoy the speech Malala gave when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.
It’s slow to get started too, but when she’s finished acknowledging everyone who helped her, she gets to the heart of the matter and nearly brought us to our feet right here in the office a few times! Enjoy…
Her candid passionate speaking style is mesmerizing and her message undeniable.
If you’ve been inspired, you can find Malala’s equally amazing book on Amazon here.
To join her movement to see #TheLast go to http://malala.org.
“My great hope is that this will be the last time we must fight for the education of our children. Let us solve this once and for all.”
That about says it all.
Thanks for visiting us here at EverWideningCircles.com. Are you just discovering this project? If so, welcome!
We are here to demonstrate that the world is still an amazing place, despite what the negative 24-hour news cycle tells us!
Malala’s story certainly does that!
Stay curious, open and optimistic!
~ Dr. Lynda
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- Kristof, NIcholas, and Sheryl WuDunn. “The Women’s Crusade.” NYTimes. The New York Times Magazine, 17 Aug. 2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine/23Women-t.html?_r=0>. ↩
- “FULL Amanpour Malala Interview.” YouTube. CNN, 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKIQ_AyLi30>. ↩
- Yousafzai, Malala. “Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize Speech.” YouTube. Malala Fund, 11 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOqIotJrFVM>. ↩