This is not the first time that I am writing about education or have an educational topic as something that inspires my month, and will probably not be the last. This blog is not about education, rather about sustainability, but I think all of it is connected and that is what I am writing about now.
I lately got inspired by a book that I read a couple weeks ago called “I Am Malala”. I am sure all of you know who Malala is, and if you don’t, it is a high time for you to google it. In short, this book is Malala’s autobiography about her thirst for education and the fight she and her father fought for the education, especially for girls in her country, Pakistan. Alongside the fight I learned about the culture of Pakistan, about how terrorism and ignorance have affected the country and the lives of the common people there, how easily people who do not know any better it is to rile up with propaganda, about corruption and politics and what the people who are driven out of their country really want. Yes, this book talked about all of this, and it is why I will be mentioning it in my happy favourites this week, but what inspired me most was the thirst and fight for education whilst under a threat of death!
I know from my own experience, and I am sure many of you can identify with the lack of interest in education that we have in the western countries. As a preschool girl, I was eager to go to school, it was a milestone in my life, but it didn’t take long when the lack of motivation hit and my mother had to use different tactics to keep me motivated. I knew that school was something I should be excelling in for my future, but I didn’t know why. I was often questioning why something was important for us to learn and at no point was I thankful that I was able to go to school. I didn’t know that women had to fight heard for girls to be educated and I didn’t know that so many other children were not able to go to school for many different reasons.
The lack of motivation for education saddens me, especially when learning how Malala with her friends went to school knowing that if they were caught by the wrong people they might be killed. Imagine if pupils in the western culture would have the same motivation for education! I was most impressed with Malala’s father, who against their cultural norm behaved towards his daughter in an equal manner as to his sons. He recognised the importance of education for his daughter and all the girls in Pakistan and often did talks to promote girls education. He got death threats and he didn’t stop, because he saw how ignorance was feeding fear and inequality in his country and he knew that by educating all the children they would have the knowledge to make it better.
Education is power, and I don’t only mean education as school, but any education whether it is school, learning from elders, self-learning from the Internet and books, documentaries, on the job. We are fortunate in this modern world for all the opportunities that we have for learning and I hope we don’t take it for granted. There were many people who fought for the right of our education and there are still many who fight for their right to education! When it comes to sustainability, I believe education is important and although schools and Universities are slowly adapting to this change with an offer of sustainability courses, it is not enough. The more people know about sustainability the more they can do and work towards it. At the moment most of us are confused about what is contributing to sustainability and what is contributing towards climate warming. We are told using plastic is bad, wearing fur is horrible and to use less water, but how many know why.
What inspires you this month?