There are a lot of terrible things going on in the world.
You don’t have to do much more than open your internet browser to hear that there has been another incident of mass violence, another act of terror, another government crisis, another tax increase, another escalated international debacle, all on top of any manner of more intimate “everyday” tragedies.
And if you choose to actually read the news articles themselves…well, you’d better have your Prozac handy.
This means it is all the more inspiring to read about something positive in the news. Not just a snarky commentary on current events (I mean, even I can do that), but an actual account of human behavior that is productive, positive, and inspiring. The good stuff is always out there, if you have the will to search for it and the eyes to see it, but it’s a nice change to see it in the headlines.
This morning I was browsing news articles online and came across this little piece about Malala Yousafzai. In case you forgot, she’s the young Pakistani girl who was attacked by Taliban militants while riding the school bus home one afternoon last October. The depraved bastards shot her in the head, all because she wrote a blog promoting the education of women and exposing the abuses of the Taliban. By the grace of God, she survived. Her miraculous survival made headlines, and now she’s making headlines again…because she wrote a book (released on Tuesday) about her attack, and continues espousing a “secular ideology” that, according to Islamic extremists, makes her their enemy. The Taliban’s press releases state that if given the opportunity, they “will definitely kill her” and “that will make [them] feel proud.”
(A quick aside: This is not a blog focused on politics. That being said, this blatant expression of militant Muslim’s stance on the secular world should worry you. It should inspire action, in whatever degree necessary, to take out the terrorist groups like this, who are so firmly entrenched in evil that they are willing to attempt to kill to a 15 year-old girl because she stood up against them. If nothing else, it should make you pray, and pray hard.)
What stands out to me most, though, is Malala’s courage. She has not backed down from her stance. In fact, it seems the attack has only strengthened her resolve to create change, no matter what it costs her. Not only has she written a book, but she is working hard to complete her education, and she is currently in the running for Nobel Peace Prize. She has incredible dreams, dreams that I pray become reality.
“I will be a politician in my future. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory. I hope that a day will come when the people of Pakistan will be free, they will have their rights, there will be peace and ever girl and every boy will be going to school.”
Malala’s courage and resolve in the face of opposition more dire than most of us will ever know is nothing short of inspiring. In a world that often looks to be going to hell in a handbasket, it is important to recognize the brave ones still on the frontlines, fighting for the forces of good.
“There’s some good in this world…and it’s worth fighting for.”
-Samwise Gamgee, The Two Towers
And a little PS that’s near and dear to my heart:
The state of our nation, our communities, and our world cannot be ignored. The tragedies and suffering, even when they don’t directly involve us, have huge implications for the society we live in. Even if it doesn’t directly affect us, it will affect those who come after us, our sons and daughters and grandchildren. Every adult (no matter how young) should take personal responsibility for staying informed of current world, political, and social news. If you’re going to live in this world, you ought to know what’s going on in it.