Thursday, October 11, 2012


Malala Yousufzai: The Face Of Courage.
When I hear the word courage, I think of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. He wanted nothing more than to have courage. Not the courage to do something, but to do anything.

But what is courage? Webster's Dictionary defines it as: "The ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief." Courage can be synonymous with bravery, valor, gallantry or, as the Lion would say, "the nerve."

Yesterday I wrote about fear. Courage is not a lack of fear, but facing fear.

Are you courageous? Would you disagree with the opinion of a friend? How about debating issues over dinner as others watch?

Would you stand up for something you believe to be right? Would you have the courage to die for your beliefs?

For years, 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai had the courage to voice her opinion. She had to course to defy death threats for years.

Tuesday, as she was leaving school, she was shot twice because she promoted education for girls in Pakistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, citing Malala's pro-Western views and opposition to the Taliban as just cause.

She knew her life was in danger, but she believed the good work she was doing for her community was her best protection, her father said on Wednesday.

The shooting has outraged people in a country seemingly inured to extreme violence since a surge in Islamist militancy began after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Still, while facing death threats, Malala had the courage to recently begin organizing a fund to make sure poor girls could go to school.

"She had planned on making the Malala Education Foundation in Swat," said Ahmed Shah, a family friend and chairman of the Swat Private Schools Association.

Do you have this kind of courage? I'm sure I don't. But then I live in a country that is much different than Malala.

I hope, if I ever had to take a stand, I would be willing to die for what I believed was right.

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