Watching greatness rise is no small thing. What did those who first heard Gandhi or Mother Theresa speak, think as words of peace poured from their lips. I can imagine it’s something like listening to Malala Yousafzai.
In October of 2012, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban, on a school bus along with her friends and for what terrible crime? For wanting rights for girls. She wanted the opportunity to learn. And for that crime the Taliban decided to eliminate their outspoken problem.
But she didn’t quietly disappear into the dust as they had hoped. Today, on her 16th birthday she spoke before the U.N. delegates in an awe-inspiring speech, that I’m convinced if it didn’t touch you on an emotional level, you have no soul.
The Pakistani youth stood before the eager crowd in a pink shawl that once belonged to assassinated Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto. She spoke in beautiful English as she called for all children to be given the right of an education and spoke out for the rights of women stating they “are afraid of women.”
“The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions,” she said, “but nothing changed in my life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”
In such a humble spirit she said, ‘Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions injured – I am just one of them.’
She presented a petition signed by 4 million people to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to support the nearly 57 million children denied an education.
‘On the 9th October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead and they shot friends too. They thought that the bullet would silence us – but they failed. Out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aim and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed except this weakness, fear and helplessness died, and strength, power and courage was born.”
G-d bless you Malala. And Happy 16th Birthday. You make the world a much more beautiful place just by being here. Wishing you strength, peace and happiness all the days of your life. You deserve it.