Last year, around this time, I wrote about her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize and the double-edged-sword that constituted Malala's denial of it. On one hand, I was so proud of her and her great accomplishments as a 16-year-old education activist and I recognized the imperative of honoring such people of great conscience, courage, and tenacity; on the other, I contended that the award was beneath her. After all, Barack Obama was honored with the award in 2009, and he "has [since] done far more to further this nation's legacy of war and violence in the world... than to increase peace."
But this year, the Nobel committee has honored Malala with the Peace Prize, along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi. Finally! Here's hoping that it doesn't get to her head or otherwise in the way of the good work that she has been doing for years now.
And while the Nobel Committee celebrates the work of such great advocates for peace and justice (this year, anyway) I hope that we, too, would be inspired and motivated to work toward such noble causes.
To start, with Columbus Day right around the corner, I pray that we would remember the true legacy of Christopher Columbus -- one of genocidal violence and greed -- and celebrate instead people like Columbus' contemporary, Bartholomé De Las Casas, who worked to end slavery and brutality against the native Americans, for their human rights and dignity. These are the kinds of stories and legacies that should be remembered, honored, memorialized. And these are the people that I will be celebrating this weekend and Bartholomé Day -- people like Malala and Mr. Satyarthi.