Malala Yousafzai is pretty amazing. Malala was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen – her “crime”, to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated. She was 15 at the time. The following year she won the Nobel Peace Prize and was named as one of Time magazine’s most influential people. She says things like,
Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.
I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.
Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead, he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself… By giving me this height to reach people, he has also given me great responsibilities.
The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born.
But the quote I really like, is not from her, it’s from her Dad.
Ask me what I did–Not what I did not.
I love that.
You see my kids just started school and I’ve been given this tremendous gift: Time. And it has overwhelmed me.
I will be the first to admit that I put a lot of pressure on myself and apparently raising two boys in the context of a military family life is not enough in my world. Because there are people like Malala out there.
I mean I’ve seen bus drama and it consists of nothing except, well, kids, and frankly, that is enough for me to want to home school (not really). But here is a girl going through adolescence, living in Pakistan, fighting for basic rights, standing up to a gunman on her school bus, and instead of being scared, she becomes braver.
SHE IS 18 YEARS OLD AND IS MEETING WITH HEADS OF STATE.
AND THEY WANT TO MEET WITH HER.
I was forever ruined by Oprah. She constantly had 7 year olds on who were building libraries in Africa with leftover lunch money (and succeeded). Or people half my age who had made a fortune and gave it all to charity and then earned another billion and then gave every penny of that away and lived in India in a tent and invented life saving clean water systems out of tin cans that they found through their grass roots organization that they formed when they were 5.
So you can see my problem when given this
curse gift of 5 hours each day I feel like a complete loser.
I have not invented anything.
I have not given away all of my worldly possessions.
I don’t have a single grass roots organization.
And, no, I have not built a library in anywhere impoverished that needs it. Don’t even get me started at what I was doing at 7…stupid Barbie.
So when I heard Malala mention that her Dad always says—Ask me what I did, NOT what I did not–I felt a little bit better.
I did this.
And I did this.
Yeah, and last year, yeah–I did that.
I’m going to give myself some grace (it’s so hard) and focus on what I do, being a Mom–NOT what I didn’t.
(My husband is trying to get me to not focus on what he didn’t do either but I told him it doesn’t work like that.)
I’d also like to mention that I am extremely grateful to all those out there, like Malala, who are living a very BIG LIFE to make other people’s lives better. Thank you Malala.