If I ever wondered about why I work in education, Friday’s speech by Malala Yousafzai was an inspirational reminder. As you probably remember, she is the young woman who was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out about the right of education for girls. She has recovered, and on her 16th birthday she gave a powerful speech before the United Nations, arguing for the right of every child to live in peace, free of poverty and illiteracy.
Here are some of my favorite quotes.
So here I stand, one girl among many, to speak up for the right of education for every child… even the sons and daughters of the Taliban.
We realized the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns… Let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.
One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.
When we go to work in the morning, surrounded by teachers, students, books, and pens, let’s remember what a gift we are being given. We have a chance to make a difference in ways that many people can only dream about. Or like Malala Yousafzai, they risk everything to claim rights that we in higher education often take for granted.
Malala, I wish you well in your new life. I can’t wait to see what you, and your young brothers and sisters at the United Nations event, will bring to the world in the years to come. Thanks for reminding me about the importance of education and its potential to change the world.
Dee Anne Bonebright