Young, Brave, and Accomplished
Lately I’ve been thinking about just how accomplished and courageous today’s young people are, maybe because there have recently been a few in the news. Like Hilde Kate Lysiak, the 12-year-old reporter from Pennsylvania who was threatened with arrest when she was tracking down a story in Arizona. She has been solving crimes since she was nine years old and writing about them in her own Orange Street News. Also, with the help of her father, she has written six books for Scholastic about being a young crime reporter. Some people think she’s too young for this tough work, but she has pushed back and continues to pursue her chosen passion.
And then there are the Parkland students who, after the horrific tragedy at their high school, have become ardent gun control activists, speaking out on media outlets, not afraid to stand up and speak truth to power. I’ve heard some of them speak and seen some interviews and they are both articulate and passionate. They don’t allow the powers-that-be to intimidate them. They were even named among Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2018.
I have long admired Malala Yousafzai, the world’s youngest winner of the Nobel Prize, for her extreme bravery in standing up for girls’ education. She agreed to write a blog about her educational experiences beginning when she was only nine. When she was shot in the face she was only fifteen, and after her recovery she became an eloquent activist for the education of women. Her book I Am Malala became a world-wide bestseller.
When I was in my early teens, my concerns were mostly about myself and my own little world. I didn’t realize that a person of my age could have power. I so deeply admire these young people who see the big picture, and have the passion and courage to speak up and do the right thing in the face of tragedy and atrocity. They claim their power. They are true role models and heroes. I think that their actions can show me, in fact can show all of us, that we can do more than we think.