malala

“I can take my revenge by educating girls. That’s the best way to fight back.”

Forgiveness is about seeing through wrongdoing and—with mercy and inner strength—getting back in touch with our own heart, our goodness and our humanity. It’s rarely easy. But it’s well worth the effort.

Most of us on some level understand the importance of forgiveness, but what exactly does this look like?

During a town hall meeting for Doha Debates, Malala Yousafzai was asked if she would ever speak to the Taliban gunmen who made an attack on her life in 2012, after she publicly spoke out for women’s educational rights.

Malala is already a hero to millions for her courage and resilience, but her response to this question is the epitome of showing grace … even after the unthinkable. Plus, it’s a beautiful reminder that forgiveness is an incredibly powerful tool for healing.

“Actually, I did,” she disclosed, to the interviewer’s surprise.

Malala explained that her colleagues organized a call with the men who had shot her all those years ago. After the young men tried to apologize for their brutal actions, this is what she had to say:

“All I had was sympathy. All I had was empathy. Because you wonder … what are the reasons that lead to these actions?”

Malala showed genuine compassion and understanding as she described the incident from the attacker’s perspective, who were handed a picture of Malala and told “this is a girl and she is against Islam. Go and shoot her.” For them, it was about loyalty, purpose and fulfilling a job.

As she continued, Malala chose to focus on solutions, rather than placing blame.

“Whatever hatred you have against this person, it’s not going to solve any of the problems … There is a system in there that will create more terrorists. It’s the narrative that is wrong … It’s the ideology that we need to challenge.”

Her stance was clear: The problem isn’t people, it’s what people are taught. It takes getting deeper insight into how history has shaped us, so that we can take new steps toward a better society. That is what can be gained by letting go of anger and resentment in favor of progress.

As for revenge? Malala told the audience, “I can take my revenge by educating girls. That’s the best way to fight back.”

Despite receiving such hatred, Malala’s vision remains fueled by hope.

“There can be a society where we can live together. We can know what it means to be just. What it means to be fair. I think as individuals, we can use reason. We can have good emotions and powerful emotions that can really guide us in creating a better society."

Malala is now a household name as an advocate for women’s education, wrote a bestselling book and heads a highly successful platform “working for a world where every girl can learn and lead.” She took what was arguably the most horrific experience of her lifetime and made the conscious choice to transform it into a force for good.

Forgiveness often comes down to one simple question, “How will I use this moment to become a better person?” The choice is ours.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

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