Malala Yousafzai, an activist of education rights, survived a gunshot to the head at the young age of 14. She helped her dad build a school in Pakistan where everyone could go to school, no matter what, she made lots of speeches and kept fighting for education rights. A group centralized in Pakistan, called the Taliban, shot her in the head while she was on her way home from school because they didn’t want education rights for all; considering they feel females are lesser than men. Malala was immediately rushed to a hospital, and thankfully, survived.
If she wouldn’t have survived, she wouldn’t be as great a world leader, and no one would work hard to gain education rights. Her story greatly illustrates all of the traits people need to survive unsurmountable challenges. Perseverance, courage, and strength are all traits Malala used to survive, and they’re very important traits for survival. These three traits combine to help people always move forward, no matter what, always be ready to face their fears and challenges, even if they seem too big to conquer, and remain diligent through all trials charging their path.
In order to survive all kinds of situations, one important trait is perseverance. If you don’t demand to survive in tough situations, and you choose to give up instead of persevere, your chances for survival are slim. In one of my readings, “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard E. Connell, Rainsford used legions of perseverance. On his way to a hunting trip in the Amazon, he fell of of his yacht close to an island. Without panicking, he swam to the island and found a house. A man opened the door and discussed with Rainsford about his hunting career.
Rainsford didn’t stay for long before he found out the man was a man-hunter. Rainsford was terrified, and was sent away to be hunted. “Even so, I think [animals] understand one thing– fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death” (Connell, 1). During the hunt, the had to remain calm and use his wit to conquer his fear of being killed in the manhunt. Although he wanted to give up at first, he decided he didn’t actually want to be killed. He used perseverance and brain power to outsmart his opponent, and win the battle. “Then it was that Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror” (Connell, 12).
If he would’ve given up during the hunt, he would’ve died, and lost; since he persevered for many days, he survived, and didn’t have to suffer. In “Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Advocates for Amputees: ‘I Cry Endless Tears With Them’”, Adrianne Haslet-Davis is an amputee who knows that there are other amputees in the world who need help and guidance. She started a group for amputees who needed more guidance, and she interviews and hopes to inspire amputees such as herself. “Hearing their stories inspires her to share her own story and advocate on their behalf. She persevered and got better, even without legs, and she is stronger than she’s ever been. Adrianne continues to be inspired by her fellow amputees, just as she hopes to inspire them to follow their dreams. “Because as supportive as family can be in these situations, they don’t know what it’s like,” well, she’s not wrong. She knows that many people have supportive families, but their families don’t know what they feel because it hasn’t happened to them; hence, why Adrianne felt the need to help people like her, so all amputees could get the help they needed.
Her, and many others, persevered through the loss of their limbs and continue to get stronger, refusing to give up. Although perseverance is needed for surviving, it isn’t the only thing needed to survive. We also need an immense amount of courage to help us survive any obstacle in our way. In a magazine article, “Tougher Than the Taliban”, Malala Yousafzai was indefatigable. She fought for education rights for all people, but a group of people, called the Taliban, hated the idea. She spoke about it, and helped her dad open a school. One day on her way home from school, a man got onto her school bus and shot her in the eye and the arm.
She was immediately rushed to a hospital in Europe, even though she was in Pakistan at the time of the shooting. “They thought that the bullets would silence us” (p. 13). When the Taliban shot Malala, they thought it would prevent her from pursuing her dreams and stop fighting for educational rights. However, they were wrong. It made her stand up to them more. She used perseverance to overcome her struggle, and if she would’ve given up after the shooting, she wouldn’t be where she is today, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and celebrating education with others. She pushed herself, and collapsed the Taliban’s dream of silencing her. I wasn’t scared, but I had started making sure the gate was locked at night and asking God what happens when you die” (p. 12). Malala wasn’t afraid of the people threatening her, but she definitely didn’t want to die, because then they would win, and she would never give people the chance for education they deserve. It’s amazing that she continued to fight for education even after all she went through. Courage is the ability to do something that may appear scary at first. It is important for survival because once you can face and subjugate your fears, you will be able to survive almost anything.
In the movie Castaway directed by Robert Zemeckis, Chuck Noland is very daring. Chuck Noland gets into a plane crash in the middle of the ocean and floats to an island where he stays for 4 years. “I knew, somehow, I had to stay alive, even though there was no hope. ” He had a substantial amount of audacity to strive to stay alive, because he could’ve just died instead. Chuck was scared on that island. Wanting to go home so bad, he made sure he did everything in his power to get him there. He pushed for survival, and kept the people he loved most close to his heart so he wouldn’t be as afraid. I’m so grateful she was with me on that island. ”
When Chuck first arrived on the island, he was probably terrified that he would never get home, or worse, survive. He believed in himself, and had so much courage, he was able to get home safely. “The White Rose”, an article I read about the Holocaust, showed a considerable amount of courage. The Jews were taken into concentration camps by the Nazi’s. Many Jews tried escaping these camps, using great determination and fearlessness. They needed to not be afraid to die, and know that if they got caught, they wouldn’t survive under any circumstances.
Here we see the most frightful crime against human dignity” (p. 18). The people who wanted so desperately to survive needed to have courage in order to not be scared of death. They needed to conquer the fear of death, have courage, and strive to live. “I think it was sympathy in the best sense of the word. Sympathy for the oppresses. And reaching a point where you cannot stand by and watch” (p. 20). The people who were unable to survive in the Holocaust may have been very courageous and tried their hardest to survive. Although there weren’t many survivors, the ones who did may have demonstrated grit, or maybe they were just the lucky ones.
In “Tougher Than the Taliban”, Malala demonstrates immense amounts of courage. While on her journey to receive education rights for all people, she and her dad were threatened every day. She wasn’t afraid, and she knew that her family would do their best to keep her as safe as possible. She was probably scared at first, but she went on to conquer her fears and overcame her fear of the threats thrown at her. “What terrifies religious extremists like the Taliban are not American tanks or bombs or bullets, it’s a girl with a book” (p. 14). This quote shows her insuppressible amount of courage, more than most people have.
She continued to be courageous and have hope for the future, knowing that whatever is bound to happen, will happen. Even after being shot, Malala showed great amounts of courage. She wasn’t afraid, and she even said, “They thought that the bullets would silence us” (p. 13). Malala kept her head held high, and showed no fear, for if she did, she may have gotten herself killed. “I wasn’t scared, but I had started making sure the gate was locked at night and asking God what happens when you die” (p. 14). She said it herself, she wasn’t scared; hence, the amount of courage it took to say that was unsurmountable.