Malala Yousafzai Quotes That Will Awaken Your Inner Activist
If you’ve somehow forgotten about the icon that is Malala Yousafzai, let us give you a little refresher. The 20-year-old Pakistani activist for female education is so far the youngest Nobel Prize winner. Despite being shot by the Taliban at the tender age of 14 for the simple reason of being a woman seeking education, Malala was not silenced. She became even more outspoken in her activism for the right to education for women everywhere.
Although most of us are not Nobel Prize winners or world-renowned activists, we can still learn a lot from Malala. These quotes from the young power house will remind you to keep advocating for what you believe in, no matter what obstacles stand in your way.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
How this relates to your life: In the United States, we’re lucky enough to enjoy freedom of speech. We shouldn’t take this for granted, as there are many people in the world— like Malala — that do not enjoy this freedom. Take advantage of this to stand up for a cause that you believe in, whether it be environmental sustainability, the fight against animal cruelty, or equal pay among genders. Get proactive: join an advocacy group, volunteer, and (most importantly) practice what you preach.
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
How this relates to your life: When you see something immoral or unjust happening around you — say you notice a girl who looks alone getting harassed on your way home from work — it can be tempting to ignore it because you’re late for an appointment or just too exhausted after a long day at work. After all, no one else is doing anything about it, so why should you? But just one voice — like your own — telling the creep to step away or asking for help from others, could be enough to save this girl from potential danger.
“With guns, you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.”
How this relates to your life: When you’re trying to find a permanent solution to a problem, the quickest and most straightforward solution is not always the most effective in the long run. To solve a problem, you need to find out its origin and find a way to address that first. For example, poverty can’t be permanently solved by handing people money. We need to learn how to educate people to become self-sufficient so that they can find a way to make money on their own.
“Life isn’t just about taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide.”
How this relates to your life: Arguably one of our favorite Malala quotes, she points out that there’s more to life than just breathing. Take advantage of all that life has to offer now because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
“The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn’t stop our minds from thinking.”
How this relates to your life: Your mind is your most powerful weapon, so treat it with kindness.
“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.”
How this relates to your life: Who run the world? Girls. But seriously, next time you get mansplained, remember that there’s no rule that says you need to sit there and listen to your 70-year-old, ex-lawyer relative tell you why a career in media is pointless. You’re allowed to kindly remind him why he really isn’t an expert on the matter.
“I reassured my mother that it didn’t matter to me if my face was not symmetrical. Me, who had always cared about my appearance, how my hair looked! But when you see death, things change. “It doesn’t matter if I can’t smile or blink properly,” I told her. “I’m still me, Malala. The important thing is God has given me my life.”
How this relates to your life: Life is too short to worry about that pimple you’ve been glaring at for the last hour in the mirror. Beauty fades and you cannot control it, but you will always have control over the true essence of your being. So focus on maintaining that instead.