Dressed in a simple kurta payjama and her ever present veil and yet somehow more resplendent than a supermodel on a runway , Malala Yousafzai set about to change the world 5 years ago. Her quiet strength , firm countenance as well as her superior mind, quite at odds with her age is still startling to most after what she has accomplished in an unimaginably brief span of time.
As we celebrate her 20th birthday coined Malala Day in her honour,
I can't help but marvel at how a small girl mended hearts across the world from her small abode in Pakistan.
Here are a few lessons we can take away from Malala's journey.
1. IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START
Though the Taliban bullet struck her brain in the October after she turned 15, the groundwork to what she is today was laid much earlier. She believed in the power of educating girls since she was very little as we can note from her blog and her speeches shortly after she turned 11. Still think that age is a limitation?
2. HAVE AN INNATE SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG
It's equally important to fight for what you want and to sacrifice for the greater good when you should. As daunting as it is to consider being in Malala’s shoes, the courage and strength she exhibited came from the need to do what is right and a conscious driven self .
3. BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE
She showed in no small words and actions that she was proud to be a girl and that being one wouldn't stop her from dreaming big or proving her worth. That she hailed from a state under the control of an international terrorist organisation did not dissuade her from raising her voice and telling the world that she too deserved to learn.
4. BE COMMITTED TO YOUR CAUSE
Success may have come sooner or later, but she didn't stop working towards the endgame. She is a great example of a born leader: someone who works for the long term goals. She has not stopped striving to further her cause (education for girls) through her campaigns like #girlpowertrip and #Yesallgirls.
5. ANYONE CAN BE AN INSPIRATION
Malala tells us that if there's anything to take away from her story, it's that anybody can do what she does. All you have to do is stand firm in what you believe in and fight for it.
Malala Yousafzai is an ordinary girl with extraordinary abilities who decided that it was not enough to simply exist; who decided that complacency was for the weak and that nothing is possible without persevering. She is an example to us all, continuing to liberate the world of constraints against things that truly matter.