Last week I had one of the most awesome opportunities that has ever come my way as a blogger (and that’s saying something, becasue this job is one big adventure!). I got to spend half an hour on a conference with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. She’s a bright and energetic 18-year-old girl who, 3 years ago, saw an injustice in her community and spoke out against it. She did a very hard thing, and she almost lost her life by standing up for what was right because the Taliban shot her in the head in the attempt to silence her forever. But she didn’t back down and she didn’t stop speaking out for the need for education to be a RIGHT, not a privelage, for every single child, no matter their gender, race or economic status.
Friends it was such a moving phone call! Malala is very clear about the fact that she is just one person, and she can only do so much, but that if others will join her, the collective power can topple over centuries-old institutions and traditions that exclude certain children and deny them opportunities to receive an education. She challenged us all to imagine for just a moment what this world would look like if every single child could receive k-12 education, which is something I admit that I take for granted here in the United States. That image of an entire generations and all the generations that follow being educated blew my mind, an in a really good way. It felt SO right.
In the next week, a new film will be released in theaters all over the nation called He Named Me Malala. This film is about Malala’s story, and more broadly, it’s about the importance of girls’ education. Take a moment to check out this quick trailer:
I mean…woah. I CANNOT WAIT to go see this. And I am really excited about sharing Malala’s story with my girls. My children already have access to k-12 education, but if they had been born in a different part of the world their options could be SO much more limited. And in those places, right now, there are mothers and fathers with precious little girls who are being denied that opportunity. And in other places in the world, boys and girls alike are being denied education based on their family’s income (or lack of sufficient income). I try to put myself in the position of those parents who aren’t allowed or just aren’t able to give their little ones something that is so critical for success in life.
This is heartbreaking. And it’s wrong. And it doesn’t have to be this way.