Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot point blank in the face on a school bus by the Taliban, is no longer a child activist for education in Pakistan. This month, Malala, the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, became an adult.
Amazingly, after suffering and surviving trauma broadcast around the world, she said,
“I am not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I’m here to speak up for the right of education for every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all terrorists and extremists”
I am always amazed at the ability some people, like Malala and Mandela, have to forgive, after such horrendous wrongs, to care about something bigger than themselves. It was one of the reasons I made sure to include a visit to the Nobel Peace Center on my trip to Norway this month.
I work with people whose spouses have hurt them deeply or whose siblings have behaved horribly while aging parents suffer. I, like you, have been hurt by someone I love. I have hurt people I love. We can choose to focus on our pain and fantasize about revenge. Or we can choose to focus on something bigger: peace for our children, love for aging parents, even recognition of the toll resentment takes on oneself. It’s hard. But I, like you, haven’t been shot point-blank for advocating about something I believe in. I, like you, haven’t been jailed for 27 years for protesting inequality. We likely have just a little less to forgive!
If you ever have the opportunity, visit the Nobel Peace Center and be truly inspired.
Wishing you wisdom,
 Michelle Nichols (12 July 2013). “Pakistan’s Malala, shot by Taliban, takes education plea to U.N.”. Reuters. Retrieved 23 July 2013.