Today’s post is written by our Brave Writer, Karen Asbra
Age Has No Limits
I remember being 15. My life was focused on my friends, my clothes, turning 16, getting a job, getting a car. My biggest concern was who liked me and who didn’t. What was happening in the world or what was happening in the life of others didn’t even enter my mind. I was a typical teen.
Everything was about me.
Today I want to highlight a teen who has inspired me. She is Malala Yousafzai. On October 9, 2012 she was shot in the left side of her forehead by the Taliban and survived. She was shot for publicly opposing a ban for girls to be schooled. At her young age she was a voice for the education of women and children in her country of Pakistan. Her plight didn’t begin there it had been going on much earlier. At age 11 she was writing of the struggle for girl’s education in her town of Swat which was controlled by the Taliban. Her diary was published under a fictitious name and with the encouragement of her father she even started a blog. Eventually her real identity became known and she became a target of the Taliban yet Malala continued to fight for the right to education.
On Malala’s 16th birthday, July 12, 2013, she was asked to come speak to the United Nations. Her words were eloquent and mature beyond her age. She spoke how she had no hatred for the Taliban nor was she speaking for personal revenge but she was simply speaking for the education for all children. In her speech she said,
“I raise up my voice so that those without a voice can be heard.”
WHAT! Who does that especially at age 16? I can honestly say that I don’t know if I could ever stand in such grace and bravery under those circumstances, yet Malala did.
Malala had many words that inspired me. The depth of grace and strength she spoke with was beyond amazing. One of my favorite words she spoke was,
“The terrorist thought they would change my aims and ambitions but nothing changed in my life but this, weakness, fear, hopelessness died. Strength, fervor, encouragement was born.”
I could do nothing more but sit in awe as I watched her speak. Do I live with such passion in my life? Am I standing up against injustice for others? Here she was at 16 with more honors than I will see in my life. She’s won the International Children’s Peace Prize, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and named one of the most influential people of 2013 to name a few of her honors. She so moved the United Nations that children everywhere will be able to get primary schooling by 2015 through the Global Education First Initiative. She not only made an impact for education of children from her country but for all children throughout the world.
The greatest lesson I have learned from her was that justice and bravery have no age limit. It does not matter how young or how old you are you can make a difference. It is not a matter of the older generation not understanding the younger generation or the younger generation not being as wise as the older generation even though there is truth to both. It is a matter of learning from one another and not putting an age limit on our influence.
What issues of justice have been on your heart but you have felt that you are too old or too young to make a difference. You won’t make any difference by staying silent, that I can guarantee. It is only when you have the courage to take a stand that you can make a difference. You and I may not have the same impact globally as Malala did but we must start somewhere and believe that no matter how big or how small our influence is, that it WILL make a difference!
Photo Credit Of Malala – http://static4.quoteswave.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/We-realize-the-importance.jpg
Photo Credit – Lesley Glen
Karen Asbra is happily married to Lance Asbra and has 3 amazing children. She is a writer, song writer, and worship leader and enjoys bringing people into the presence and intimacy of God. You can visit Karen at her blog http://lanceandkarenasbra.com