Malala and Pope Francis: The Power of Personality

When my children were growing up, I saw first hand, the power of personality. In that particular case, it was negative power used by a bully who had a persona that others felt compelled to follow, much like Hitler, I suppose. I remember feeling stunned that others couldn’t grasp the ugly nature of it. There was no “zero tolerance” of bullying that is promoted today, not achieved, but promoted at least.

I recently read the book, “I am Malala” and I have to say, wow! This book, written by a sixteen year old girl, is enormously powerful. I have not read anything that had such an impact on my heart in a long time. I enjoyed reading it, but also, I learned a tremendous amount and have such a clearer understanding of the predicament, the violence, the culture, and what long odds the peace keepers face. Malala has made such an impact around the world – and yet I ask myself – where are we in world peace, in education, in feeding the poor?

If you are one who believes the entire Middle East hates Americans, please read this book. The conflicts in the Middle East are so deeply complicated – I almost agree with the assessment, (not made in this book but by another individual), that in order to achieve world peace we would have to eliminate all religion from the world. One thing is for sure, as long as there has been religion, there has been conflict.

I studied Comparative Religions back in college and I remember my initial discomfort in discovering the core tenements of all of the religions were the same. The stories varied a little, but really, not much. So here is my question of the year. Whether you believe we all came out of the Rift Valley or you believe in the Bible or the Quran, before migrating out of the valley or the Tower of Babel, we all spoke the same language. With the age of the computer and the Internet – we are quickly coming back to a time when we will all speak the same language once again. What happens when we do?

I have to love the new Pope who said it is not his job to judge. Oh, if the rest of the world could learn from him. Respect people; feed the poor; love the children. What a gift for the world to give themselves. I wish I had the courage and the kind heart of Pope Francis and Malala; two people of very different religions with powerful personalities who share the same peaceful vision for the world. How beautiful to see powerful personalities use their gifts in such a positive manner.

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About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature and fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's, two topics that are very difficult to manage in real life. Barbara volunteers doing school programs and speaking to support groups. National Parks, hiking, and snow-shoeing are in her list of favorite hobbies.
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2 Responses to Malala and Pope Francis: The Power of Personality

  1. I used to think “all it takes is love” but I no longer think that you can love everyone. I DO however, think you can be tolerant and respectful of everyone – and that would be all it takes. Respect is something parents can teach – or not – and therein lies the problem.

  2. I think; all you need is love. I think it, but have not even grasped it for myself.

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