While I’m, quite obviously, a massive fan of fiction and of burying myself into a world that doesn’t actually exist, every now and then there comes a time in reality that is probably far more awesome than any author could create.

The effect that Malala Yousafzai, a 16 year old Pakistani girl, has had throughout the world is one such example.  While I usually pepper my posts with more than a little bit of sarcasm and general derision (I apologise, I swear I’m nice in person), this one is going to be the exception. Because this girl is absolutely, completely incredible.

So why is she famous?  In short, despite being a young girl, she has stood up to the Taliban and told them that all people, men and women, have the right to education and to learn, and them bullying isn’t going to stop her from believing that.

Their response was to shoot her in the head and attempt to kill her.  Not only did she survive, but she has since said that if she met one of the Taliban face-to-face, she wouldn’t fight, because then she would only be resorting to their level (watch it on the clip at the bottom of this post).

THIS GIRL IS ONLY SIXTEEN YEARS OLD.

I’m going to make the big assumption that anyone reading this blog has had the right to any form of education they’ve wanted; in fact, if you’re anyone like me, you’ve probably complained about the amount of years and time and effort that you’ve been FORCED to endure in order to get a job.  Can you imagine never being given that opportunity in the first place?

This isn’t a post to make us feel bad about our lives in first world countries, or to lament that perhaps we have it ‘too easy’, because in terms of education, we don’t.  Everyone, no matter what sex, age or race they are, has the right to learn and understand not only what is occurring around them in the world, but also have the opportunity to take the steps to create the life that THEY want, not a preconceived notion of what is expected of them.

Instead, this is a post to remind us that whoever we are, we have the ability to make a difference, whether it is big or small.  You don’t have to be Malala, because let’s be honest, I personally couldn’t hold a candle to her, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something positive in our lives.

Sorry for getting a bit Ghandi on you this post, but come on, she left Jon Stewart speechless.  Jon Stewart!

What do you think of Malala?  Do you think she is addressing the Taliban in the right way?  What is your opinion of education in other countries?  Let me know!

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