Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Standing with Malala

I noticed today that I was wearing a little tiny boulder on my shoulder.
First of all Sweetie pointed out to me some unauthorized (or so we thought) transactions between our old checking account and the new savings account I opened yesterday.  "Don't get me started," I told him, as my blood began to boil. It's like Pavlov's dogs. You say something about money and I salivate. Not in a good way. More like a werewolf with rabies.

Then I went to visit Mary. Last night she told me she had not been bathed in over a week.  Even after the whole towel fiasco, I laced up my boxing gloves before visiting entering the "care" facility. Had I learned that Mary had still NOT received the shower  promised on Sunday, I planned to go straight to the executive director who I noticed was in his office as I passed by. The good news is she did have a shower - mostly a cool trickle, but she got somewhat clean. The bad news is the bruise I saw on her leg. Don't get me started!

Later I found out that my insurance company has some new way of paying, or NOT paying, for Rx's. It makes no sense to me. Mostly it irks me that nobody bothered to tell me of the "tiered" pay scale. I knew it wasn't the pharmacy's fault, so I tried not to let the steam coming out of my ears whistle like a tea kettle.

My point, if I have a point, is that while I feel today's gripes may be reason for some action, in the big scheme of things, I need to chill out.  While I was on FB, I came across a petition to be signed. In the big scheme of things, this is really BIG to me.

There's a line in a country music song that goes something like: "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." I can remember my friend and co-worker, Pam, coming into our office several years ago singing that song, over and over. I can't remember now what stand she was going to take, but the words motivated her to more than just sit there and fuss.

It's been almost a year since this Malala Yousafzai was shot and left for dead by the Taliban. I'm not sure where the time has gone. But I'm sure Malala and her family could tell you how she's spent each and every day since then recovering. And if that's not enough, she's still fighting. 16 years old and such a warrior for the rights of women.

"Educate a woman and you educate a nation," is African proverb attributed to Ghanaian scholar Dr. James Emannuel Kwegyir-Aggrey. He was trying to "convince African parents who were more willing to allow their male children to attend missionary schools than their daughters."

As Malala's bravery points out, education for women is not just an African or Afghan problem. It is a universal one.
"From research, we know that when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, on average, she will marry four years later and have 2.2 fewer children (Girl Effect). An extra year of primary school has proven to boost a girls’ wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school boosts their wage about 15 to 25 percent – one extra year of school! Think of how that one additional year could improve and change the course of their life.  In Half the Sky, Kristof and WuDunn argue, 'The single most important way to encourage women and girls to stand up for their rights is education, and we can do far more to promote universal education in poor countries.'”
I have to ask, how many girls have to die, and how many patriarchal societies are going to allow it, before the world stands up and says enough is enough? Malala isn't sitting around waiting. She's taking her fight to the United Nations.  I swear I get goosebumps thinking of that woman/child addressing the UN. Some of us are born for greatness. Some born to stand back and cheer them on to victory.

I'm cheering Malala on, and asking you to do the same.  On July12, Malala will mark her 16th birthday by delivering the first-ever set of education policy recommendations written for youth, by youth.

I just signed this letter to the UN Secretary-General telling him, and the world, that Malala does not stand alone in her fight for universal youth education. Will you sign it as well?
Thank you for supporting this cause with me. Every signature really does make a difference!

What makes you stand up and shout, "I'm not going to take this anymore?"
Merry ME


Constance said...

I will sign it as well.

You illustrate in how many ways people are taken advantage of, from Mary's lack of car to the insurance company playing games with your prescription payments, to Malala and her bravery and resolve despite the horror she has been through.


MamaJoe said...

Signed and shared. Thanks for making me aware of the opportunity to stand. I feel like I live in a bubble these days because of work and family. Anything outside the bubble tends to get lost...again, thanks for sharing.