I tend not to jump on the newly minted greatness bus whenever the media deems someone to be saintly and above reproach. One example is that I’ve read, quite extensively, that Mother Teresa may not have been the saint that the media have made her out to be, and I’m not far from being persuaded of this potentiality.
However, I did see Malala Yousafzai on Colbert last night and, I must say, she is quite an impressive young woman. One of the most salient takeaways from that interview was her comment that after having been shot in the face, after having experienced the pain of an enemy’s bullet, that those who would kill her have, by their actions, taken away her fear of those actions. How profound for an 18 year-old-girl to be able to stand up to such hatred by dispensing with the fear of their only weapon.
The expulsion of the fear of death from the mind drives many of the more sinister among us to do terrible things-terrorism for one. When you don’t fear death you can achieve many things, including taking down two huge buildings.
But Malala Yousafzai has also dispensed with this fear and is doing good work, like using her celebrity to meet with word leaders to persuade them to feed their people and build schools for their children. I must say that I was brought to tears by her calm, intelligent, humble mannerisms and at the same time the confidence and conviction in her voice.
The next time you drive into your gated community, lock your front door, set your alarm system and make sure the Glock in the nightstand is loaded, consider whether you would improve yourself, as a human being, by divesting yourself of all your phoney protections from pedestrian, banal fears of contrived evils.
You know, be more like Malala Yousafzai, an 18-year-old girl.