Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech during a ceremony held in Oslo ought to educate and inspire every person, living in Pakistan and beyond, to join the 17-year old in her noble pursuit of ensuring education for the millions of girls out of school across the globe. She has made history by becoming the youngest Nobel laureate in history and the second one from Pakistan after Dr Abdus Salam who won the Nobel Prize for Physics. Her words are of an idealist, who believes in the possibility of achieving what is deemed impossible, and continues to lead by example, giving meaning and life to rhetoric and dreams.

Perhaps it is unfortunate that Malala has had to sacrifice her childhood and face bullets for a basic human right such as education in this day and age. As we laud her bravery, we must allow her to be afraid. As she takes on the burden of our failures and shortcomings, as a people, on her tender shoulders, let us share it. We can admire her intellect, celebrate the hero, but we must never forget that this hero is real, alive and human. She is a symbol and foremost spokesperson for the struggle for the right to education, a resistance against ignorance and oppression, and she is a 17 year old girl.

Her story, which is still being written, reminds us of the reality of home and many other parts of the world. Extremism, religious or cultural, in the form of proactive interruption or plain indifference, is threatening and destroying the lives of our children, especially girls. So many could not take a stand like Malala did. Many who did, could not survive like she has. They’re all still here, in Swat and elsewhere, being denied life and enslaved. Malala’s speech, more than anything, attempted to shake people out of perpetual paralysis and indifference, so they take ownership of the cause as they are morally obligated to. Let’s.