Malala-style Grit and Other Responses to a Rant

It was with a fast pulse and flushed face that I pressed ‘publish’ on yesterday’s post. Whenever there is a passionate rant there is a chance that it won’t be received as intended.

I am grateful to the readership of Communicating Across Boundaries for the thoughtful responses and sharing that the post received. I’ve picked some of these comments to highlight in today’s post.

Jessica wrote: I had hoped you’d blog about Malala! I read her story yesterday and it hit home for me… my ESL students this year are mostly all from the Middle East. Every day I learn from them. I learn what it means to sacrifice for something you believe in. To give your LIFE for something that some students in America would do anything to skip out on! I spoke with one of my students this week, and he shared that he feels like we Americans don’t know what it is to be free; we’ve grown up with freedom all of our lives. He hasn’t. He knows what it means to be oppressed…to fight and dream and sacrifice for something we consider so basic. When he spoke of freedom, it was as if he were cradling the most precious jewel in his hands. And he spoke with tears of how he would rather die than to give that up. We Americans have sold ourselves so cheaply… and we live for the basest of causes. I think it’s time we get some Malala-style grit, bravery and passion!

My brother Ed responded with this: 

Oh my – no wonder my laptop was smoking this morning… (!)

But in response to your line, “a 14 year old girl is a threat in what universe?” I can only think of Psalm 8:2 – “Through the praise of children and infants, you have established a stronghold against your enemies…” and I Corinthians 1: 27ff “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…”

It is the 14-year-old brave ones, and a million others who have none of the power or wealth of this world but still stand up for what is right and just and good and beautiful who will win in the end. But there’s going to be a lot of pain between now and the end…

Finally Brother James with three phrases that are known to many – an appropriate benediction: 

I heard her story this morning.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

And that’s it – may we go with Mercy into this day. Thanks for reading.

If you missed yesterday’s post, please take a look at 14-Year-Old Courage to get context for today’s article.

7 thoughts on “Malala-style Grit and Other Responses to a Rant

  1. I particularly loved the responses you highlighted today . . . the very best writers are those who call out responses in their readers, who stimulate thought and emotion and, ultimately, change. You do all that. And we all benefit, because your readers’ responses then expand and enrich what you originally wrote. I hope you revisit Malala’s story as we all keep her, her family and her cause alive in our hearts. I agree with what Ed wrote; it won’t be without pain, but goodness WILL triumph over evil, even when that goodness is embodied in a slip of a girl.

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