What’s the difference between self-interested or self-oriented tastes and higher vision – ? This was the question that framed one of our church leadership meetings this week. I frequently quoted my old friend Bishop Michael Marshall who, pointing to Jesus of Nazareth, has said over and over again throughout the years of his long and distinguished ministry:

the many are saved by the few and the few are saved by the one.

Humankind needs encouragement to recognise true and real leadership. The spiritual and moral leadership of Jesus of Nazareth proved real and true precisely to the extent that it’s revealed in others. The “saviour” of the world is to be found in the heart and hope of every living person – and I would add, further, that contributions towards the upbuilding of “the kingdom of heaven” are made not only by human persons but by every living thing. No thing is alive without the presence of life’s Source – from Whom all things come and to Whom all things will return. I have never had an opportunity – nor ever will have – to discuss with Malala Yousafzai the particular faith tradition to which she belongs. But such a conversation would anyway be an irrelevance. Here, in a sixteen year old woman, is an anointed and “saving” presence. Blessed be God. Blessed be God. Blessed is Malala Yousafzai.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for women’s rights and access to education, appeared on the Daily Show last night, ahead of Friday’s pending announcement for the 2013 recipient of the Nobel peace prize.

Her answer to one of Jon Stewart’s questions left him speechless.

An outspoken critic of the Taliban’s tactics in her native Swat Valley from a young age, Malala was the subject of an attempted assassination at the hands of a Taliban gunman because she was unafraid to speak out.

Then, at just 14 years old, a Talib fighter boarded her bus, pointed a pistol at her head, and pulled the trigger. But she survived, made a full recovery in England, and has become and transformative figure in human rights.

Now, she is poised to become the youngest Nobel Peace laureate ever.

In the key moment of the interview, Stewart asked her how she reacted when she learned that the Taliban wanted her dead. Her answer was absolutely remarkable:

“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said ‘if he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’ But then I said ‘if you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’ Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well,’ and I will tell him, ‘that’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'”

2 thoughts on “CHANGING A WORLD

  1. Thank you so much Simon for posting this and for the video. I did not see the show and felt the Spirit within me humble to her Spiritual presence as I watched this. Since I first learned of Malala I have felt very moved and inspired. She inspired me so much i also felt a need to share her story in a poem and posted it last year in October. Her Divine nature is what the taliban fear and the Divine Spirit blessed her with her recovery and the message that evil has no power over the Divine.

    Malala will always be the Noble Peace Prize winner in the hearts of the world for many years to come…

    Many Blessing for you and your congregation. mary

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