Emma, Malala, Education and Equality

Into Film Festival opening Q&A

So, I just watched Emma Watson interview Malala and I felt completely overwhelmed by her brilliance and the brilliance of Emma. Had I have been in the same place as the two, I probably would have fainted or died of whatever it is these two women give off, my guess is intelligence, ideas and inspiration. Seeing two women, or completely different backgrounds coming together for a common cause- global equality and education for all is… I’m awestruck. I grew up with many ideas of my own but I felt because I was a child, I was not entitled to an opinion. I was not able to materialise my ideas. Watching Malala’s interview and how she talks about how age is not a restriction, really did get me thinking. I’d wished this had happened a lot earlier on. Seeing the affects drugs, alcohol and abuse can have on families, I have always wanted to do something about it but I never knew what. It is an issue that is a lot harder to track than education because hypocrisy is still live and well. Despite social media and our dependency on technology, we, like Victorians, still live a dual life. How do you change that?

I felt that because of how old I was, where I lived, where I went to school, who my friends and family were, because of how much money I didn’t have, I wouldn’t be able to make any kind of difference on anyone’s life. I had the dream of building a centre in my ever-growing home town for those ‘broken problem families’. I wanted there to be a safe haven for the scared, where children could have the space they needed and mothers, and fathers, wouldn’t have to keep looking over their shoulder. I knew kids that had to travel from which ever haven they were sent to to school. They’d forget all their equipment, half the time their uniform and they were disorientated. How do you reach out to these people without it seeming like you’re trying to stick your nose in? It’s very hard for a kid to learn anything when all that is going through their minds is what happened the night before with their parents, or other relatives.

And I agree with Malala, that education is so important. Most of what we learn, is what we need to achieve something in life and to contribute to society in some shape or form. I paid a lot of attention in school and had an awful lot of respect for most of my teachers, and even the ones I did not like, I still showed respect for. I didn’t think that I’d need a lot of what I’d learnt in school but recently, I’ve wished that I kept these things up. Hat making is not as simple as it appears to be, when you have forgotten mathematical equations and how to work with textiles. Maths, Science and Languages really are the core to everything but all of the other subjects are far from being useless. It’s true, there are a lot more things we could have learnt about in terms of our society and ‘how to adult’ but these things are buildings blocks for a career and hobbies.

It frustrates me so much when I hear about my younger sisters taking their education for granted and choosing to half-ass it. Getting sent out of class, or worse isn’t cool. You’re lowering yourself by missing something that could be so important to you and your future. There was a group of kids I went to school with who took their education as a joke. Sure, not everyone is going to need the full spectrum of what we learn but it’s better to have been giving a slice of the cake than to not be offered at all, which is Malala’s point. If kids in this country were denied a spot in school there would be an outcry and I bet you a lot more kids would want to go to school. I get the dis-appeal of the daily grind but it is necessary. After you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to go out and get the experience and that’s all up to you. Education is there so you can just pick your future like an apple from a tree. Without this knowledge, you’ll be picking poisonous berries thinking that you’ve got a handful of blackberries.

My point here is to allow yourself to be inspired and fill yourself with as much as you can. When you allow this to happen, you can make things happen. I feel honoured to be able to have the opportunity to create a Pagan community down in Falmouth, for, hopefully, many to reap the benefits of. It is a breath of fresh air being able to meet like minded people that believe in similar things I do, because faith is not something I’ve ever been able to converse about. I’d also taken an interest in religious studies but I had always felt like an outsider to the conversation. Now I’m beginning to get stuck in and it really does feel lovely to be apart of such a welcoming community where no one is there to judge you. I’ve got a lot of ideas for this community and I hope with them to make some kind of change and to make an impact.

Thanks everyone. I really recommend you watching the interview and see how you come out the other side. Please remember, that each and everyone of you is capable of making change. x

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