I’ve always prided myself on the ability to speak my mind. I’ve worked hard to be a good and fair judge of my environment before I open my mouth. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur all my life and it has given me the freedom to speak freely without repercussion from an employer to my ideas. I’ve always tried to be a good custodian of intelligent thought and ideals. I get many emails from people saying they wish that they could speak as freely as I do. My freedom of speech is protected by my Country’s ethics, morals and Constitution. Turns out my world is a mere fantasy for most other parts of the earth.
At 14, a brave young female blogger in Pakistan spoke out for Women’s education rights in their oppressed society. Over 100 Taliban came to slay her, climbed aboard her school bus and shot her almost mortally in the neck. They fought and beheaded police. Those animals know that a simple voice as powerfully and bravely displayed as she did can bring forth vast powerful changes in the ideals of a society and take away all the power they so fear losing. ONE VOICE. The Rosa Parks on a Bus who simply says “No.” By simply speaking her mind she stirred fear in animals that hunted her down and sought to silence her beacon of hope. Her name is Malala Yousufzai and she is braver than anyone I know.
Its easy to speak out in a country where your ability to do so is solidly protected. I’m a coward to her Hero. I rarely have to worry about being assaulted for my freedom of speech or a blog post. She spoke out under the penalty of DEATH and inevitable retribution. THAT my friend is true courage and bravery. Even after being shot she is committed to speaking out. She is truly brave and so are those who may pay the ultimate price for all of us to live in the comfort of the freedom to speak freely without recourse. Free speech has never been a freedom so easily given and give thanks to every soldier you meet and those who paid the ultimate price for protecting that right. Social Media isnt as free and popular as you or I in free countries that may enjoy it. For some countries and societies it is a voice of change screaming out in a wilderness of darkness.
I share with you my favorite speech from Bobby Kennedy. It is one of the moral compasses that have shaped and guided my life. This is dedicated to the people who risk everything to make a better world like Malala Yousufzai:
“And a third danger is timidity. Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world — which yields most painfully to change.
For the fortunate amongst us, the fourth danger, my friends, is comfort, the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who have the privilege of an education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us. There is a Chinese curse which says, “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind. And everyone here will ultimately be judged, will ultimately judge himself, on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort.
Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
– Robert F. Kennedy
Good luck and Godspeed Malala Yousufzai may you Shine On to rise up and inspire thousands like you and change the dirges of your society.