To help reinforce the importance of this message to our children, this weekend my family watched the movie, He Named Me Malala . It focuses on the story of Malala Yousafzai , the Nobel Prize laureate who, even after being shot in the head by the Taliban, continued to stand up for human rights and the education of women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
If you have not heard her story, consider taking time to view this short video of her Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
Malala’s story makes me think of the following poem by Peter Dale Wimbrow :
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
To me, Malela represents much more than the importance of human rights and equality for women.
Her story is a powerful reminder that we all should stand up for what we know is right and constantly ask ourselves this question:
Are we proud of our actions when we look into the mirror?