Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize which she won for her brilliant humanitarian efforts and her voice in the fight for equal education for girls. Malala’s message began with the call to promote education for girls in her home country Pakistan. She claims that her vision for the right for girls to be educated began at age eleven and despite the roadblocks in her way she has succeed in having her voice heard. At age fourteen Malala was attacked and shot by members of the Taliban in an attempt to silence her for speaking up for the education of women. It is truly extraordinary that this young girl from Pakistan was able to overcome violence and threats to achieve such amazing recognition as receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. When I look at Malala, her life, her beliefs and her accomplishments I realize that the trait I value in her above all else is courage. She had courage in a world where speaking up, let alone speaking up as a child and a female is utterly unheard of. She had courage after she was shot and critically wounded by terrorist. I realize that in my world, in the society I live in as an American female college student those same threats and that level of violence may not be as present an issue for me. In my own life I face my own set of obstacles and social norms that I may disagree with to different degrees, we all do. At the end of the day not everyone is going to win a Nobel Peace Prize for standing up for what they believe in, people might even lose more things than they gain over it. It is up to every individual to decide if they will live a life saturated in the social norm of “silence is better than being disliked.” For Malala, I am sure she could have chosen silence over the many obstacles that came her way and attempted to take her down, but I’m glad she didn’t. The world might not have advanced in the knowledge about the plight of women’s education without her. Perhaps the world will never hear your opinion even if you voice it, but if you live what you believe you will influence someone and you never know where that might lead too. If a girl who is no longer welcome in her homeland, who is constantly under threat of her life can maintain her beliefs and in that way maintain who she is at her core, I believe we all can.
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