Girl Rising – the Gift of the Word
Girl Rising is a powerful documentary/film highlighting the importance for girls to have access to education. The film talks about the impacts (all positive) on the economy and the environment when girls are allowed to break free from their chains. I often take education for granted here in Canada because education has always been so. But to watch this film and see the desire, the want, the need of education from these girls left a huge impact on me.
One thing that stood out in this film? Reading.
Education comes in many forms, but for this blog post and what Girl Rising showed me was the importance of being able to read. Education begins with reading. Empowerment begins with reading. To read, to view a word and know its meaning is a power unlike any other.
I understand why someone who can’t read might feel the pain of shame or despair – I imagine it is like being blind. I know this feeling only from looking at the writing of a language I don’t know. I stare at it, trying to determine a pattern from it but I am left in a state of un-knowing and confusion. I am in that moment, blind. This is the only thing I have to compare illiteracy to.
To discover that you can read is to hold within oneself the power of enlightenment – the power of thought – the power of critical thinking.
You can see why then, it is best to keep many girls (and many people) uneducated. Too much critical thought in this world, and we might just begin to question the world around us. Question the status quo. We might just see some amazing changes happening – changes that would not benefit the corporate commercialism that has such a tight grip on our society.
But girls. If girls could read they might get creative. Ideas might form. They might become passionate about something, an injustice perhaps. They might then do something about it.
We have yet to allow the full power of girls and women to be unleashed in this world. There always seems to be something in the way – violence, witch hunts, forced marriages, overall oppression by state, church and system. But see, educate a girl and she might be willing to stand up for herself, she might just be willing to say no – not anymore. Not like this.
And it is happening – the best examples is Malala Yousafzai. Malala was shot because she decided no – not anymore. Not like this.
The best examples are the girls featured in Girl Rising. The best examples are all around us, we just need to open our eyes.
But one that caught my heart in Girl Rising – Senna.
Senna – the 14-year-old who lives in a cold, mountain mining town whose heart was inflamed by poetry. When you meet her in the film she has already discovered poetry. She doesn’t just speak poetry – she feels it. You can see the flames within her eyes, her heart as she recites poetry. She talks about the moment of discovery – how she came alive. How her poetry is inspired by her father.
Senna’s soul came alive with poetry – and now she writes her own. On World Poetry Day last year, one of her poem’s was featured on the World Vision blog – “Padre” (“Father”). It is about her father, someone who insisted on her education, who wanted to give her what he did not have.
But the real treat, the real goosebump moments are to see her recite her poetry. She is a living poem – the words flow through her like electricity. How can you not be impacted by her? Watch her performing her poem on the Girl Rising blog.
This is the power of art, of the written word. To ignite our souls – to wake us up. The power to read leads to our unleashing of creativity – creativity leads to ideas, innovation, revolution – change.
All children should have the right to education – but more girls than boys are denied this. You can read the sad and startling statistics here.
So the greatest give you can give in this world? Aside from love and kindness?
The gift of reading.
Remember, “one girl with courage is a revolution”.
This post brought to you by the letter G and the A to Z Challenge.
Posted on April 8, 2014, in General Musings & Thoughts and tagged #atozchallenge, a to z challenge, education, enlightenment, girl rising, poetry, reading, revolution, senna. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.