Teach Children and Change the World

Published December 30, 2014
On October 9, 2012 the Pakistani Taliban shot 15 year old Malala Yousafzai in the head. She was on her school bus. On April 14, 2014 Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist organization, kidnapped 276 female students in Nigeria. On December 15, 2014 the Pakistani Taliban killed 141 people (132 of them children) in a school in Peshawar. Terrorists understand that education corrodes extremism. Terrorists understand that education is the most powerful force to transform society. That’s why they keep attacking schools and school children. It is unthinkable and utterly disturbing. In a New York Times piece, What’s So Scary About Smart Girls? Nicholas Kristof writes, “When terrorists in Nigeria organized a secret attack last month, they didn’t target an army barracks, a police department or a drone base. No, Boko Haram militants attacked what is even scarier to a fanatic: a girl’s school. That’s what extremists do. They target educated girls, their worst nightmare.” In a more recent essay, Kristof states, “I’ve concluded that education may be the single best way to help people help themselves.” So what’s my point? Is it that… A. American leaders should know this too and should invest more in education both domestically and overseas? B. Individuals will find power in getting educated? C. Parents must educate their children? D. All of the above. Malala Yousafzai miraculously survived and is now an activist who speaks on the rights of children. She brought worldwide attention to the mission: BRING BACK OUR GIRLS after the kidnappings in Nigeria. Sometimes, I feel helpless because it seems there is little I can do. But in an effort to be a part, albeit a small part, of the solution, I support Room to Read, an organization that envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world. It has been said that the most influential of all educational factors is the conversation in a child’s home. What’s the conversation at your house?
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