For those of us living under a rock, Malala Yousafzai is a young girl, who was shot in the head by terrorists on her way home from a Pakistani school in October of 2012 because she defended education for girls, in countries that oppress women.
She was a front runner for the Nobel Peace Prize, but unfortunately was out shined by the Syrian chemical crisis. The prize this year went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who has been in charge of destroying Syrian chemical weapons, a noble task indeed.
What this young girl exemplifies though is a resiliency, and dedication that most will never see in a person in their life, after taking a year to recover from her gunshot injuries, she still stands by her actions, even so much as to tell John Stewart in a live interview that she would essentially turn the other cheek if she was attacked again.
In the key moment of the interview, Stewart asked her how she reacted when she learned that the Taliban wanted her dead. Her answer was absolutely remarkable:
I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’ But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’ Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.’
At 16 years old this girl understands more about forgiveness than my own friends do in their late 20’s and early 30’s. This is the type of person that deserves a peace prize not Obama or Putin. I hope she receives the recognition she deserves and is able to continue her efforts to better the whole world.
Here is the interview for those that want to watch her words.