"Thank you for being who you are and for being so brave."
- Emma Watson to Malala
I recently watched Emma Watson’s interview with Malala Yousafzai. It was an opportunity to get to know the woman behind the brave young leader that has become so famous the world over.
Shared Mutual Respect and Passion
"Today I met Malala. She was giving, utterly graceful, compelling and intelligent. That might sound obvious but I was struck by this even more in person.”
- Emma Watson (in her Facebook post about the interview)
I really enjoyed the mutual respect the two women share for one another. Their passion and vision for gender equality and education for all girls and children around the world shines through. While education is an area for development so important for all, it is heartening to see such successful, young women speaking about these issues with such a sense of groundedness, compassion and strength, while also being able to laugh at themselves and be confident in who they are and what they stand for.
No “Right” Age
“Don’t think you are young so you don’t have ideas and your ideas won’t work...”
As Malala shares, she was just 11 when she started speaking out, there is no age or “right point” one needs to reach to get started voicing your ideas and engaging with “big” issues. The brothers who started Free The Children are another inspirational example of just how true this is.
The Courage That Comes From a Greater Purpose
“I feel really scared….speaking in school, but in terms of meeting presidents and the Prime Minister and then talking about a cause which really matters, then you have to forget about getting nervous and the way you deliver the speech. Forget all those things and say what’s in your heart, do not hesitate.”
Malala also shares that while she sometimes feels nervous speaking at school, she hasn’t felt afraid speaking to presidents and global leaders as she sees how it’s not just about her: a greater purpose and meaning propels her courage in honestly and calmly asking questions and communicating as she does so well.
Beacon of Hope
“She has a sense of peace around her. I leave this for last because it is perhaps the most important.”
- Emma about Malala
In light of recent events around the world, whether it’s Paris, Beirut, Kenya, Baghdad etc, one can feel a sense of despair and a loss of hope. Malala is one of those beacons of hope that shows us how much the light can shine through, and how much can be achieved for so many in the world through that.