Malala Yousafzai has a rare characteristic for someone who is only 17-years-old: limitless courage. Two years ago, when this young Pakistani girl promoted education for girls in defiance of the Taliban, they shot her in the head.
"I had two options — one was to remain silent and wait to be killed," Yousafzai said. "And the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up."
Unfortunately for these brutal terrorists, Yousafzai lived to tell about it. Her refusal to remain silent spoke volumes for young women around the world whose human rights are being violated every day.
Because of Yousafzai’s astounding bravery, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this week.
"This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change. I am here to stand up for their rights, to raise their voice. It is not time to pity them. It is time to take action so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education.”
Yousafzai then challenged her listeners to make a difference in societies that are still fraught with neglect:
“Let us become the first generation that decides to be the last that sees empty classrooms, lost childhoods and wasted potentials.”
The prize was also awarded to Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, who has saved almost 80,000 children from slave labor, for his incredible efforts.
By accepting her prize, Yousafzai becomes the youngest Nobel Peace recipient in history. She referenced this with a bit of humor:
“I’m pretty certain that I’m also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers.”
This poignant young lady, however, has proven she uses that fighter's mentality for more than just sibling rivalry.
Her courage is ageless – and her words are now timeless.
Watch highlights of her moving speech here: