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… Happy 16th Birthday to you.

malala

… nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.

I don’t know about you, but on my 16th birthday I was most likely thinking of my High School Crush, wondering if I might get into Honors Band, and hoping my grades were good enough that my parents didn’t get upset.

Malala Yousafzai spent her 16th birthday at the United Nations … inspiring the world.

For those who are not familiar with her story, she is a young woman … for calling her a girl is surely a disservice … who after speaking out in support of education in Pakistan, was hunted down by terrorists … and shot at point-blank range in the head in an effort to stop her.

They didn’t. She lived.  

“They thought that the bullets would silence us,” she said. “But they failed. And then, out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

I heard these words on the radio as I drove to my now customary weekend getaway. This young woman … a third of my age … who has seen more true danger than most of us have.

I heard these words … and got goose bumps … and tears in my eyes. And I realized that this world is a better place with young women like this in it.

It made me realize that with young women like this there is hope.

It made me realize that the future of this world just might be in good hands.

If the folks thirty and under could somehow reach out to each other with common sense and none of the prejudices of older people, there would be no limit to what they could accomplish.

This was something we only dreamed of back in the sixties and seventies … and now there is the kind of global communication that just could make it happen.

It is good.

And I am telling you … Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala.