Local Views: Education for all is first step toward peace throughout world

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Madalyn Rudkin
July 15, 2015

For numerous years, the answer to conflict and disagreement has resulted in brutal, unnecessary war. Although these battles eventually terminate the outlying issues, lives were lost, economies were bruised and trust was broken. However, alternative, peaceful solutions exist. War is not the answer. It never is. Instead of violent encounters, Malala Yousafazi, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. understand and have practiced peaceful and effective protests.

“They thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed. Weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage were born,” said Malala at the United Nations Youth Assembly on her 16th birthday.

Malala's main goal is to gain an education for all. She believes that no one should be deprived of knowledge and the right to learn. Even when the Taliban resorted to their prideful, violent tactics, Malala held her peaceful ground with courage and grace toward the ultimate goal. She was successful. People all around the world know her name, struggle, goal and strength. Awareness is the first step in every change, and Malala understands this. Change is coming because of Malala's peaceful protest in hope to gain the right to an education for all.

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent,” Mahatma Gandhi said when commenting on violence. When Gandhi was striving to gain independence for the Indian people, his dedication to nonviolence held strong. Dedication is a way to describe each of Gandhi's peaceful efforts. Gandhi believed in the foundation of “satyagraha” which means “truth force.” The goal was simply to refrain from violence and instead attempt to change the opponent's point of view. Gandhi saw this act as winning over the mind and heart that in turn changes the point of view. Everything that Gandhi did he did with dedication and passion.

“Peace is not merely a distant goal, but a means by which we arrive at that goal,” said Martin Luther King Jr. when commenting on the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King Jr. fought hard and long for basic human rights for African-Americans. Our society reflects on Dr. King's efforts with astonishment on the outcome of his fight. King was smart; he knew the way to create the change he desired. The answer was not war and violence. It was peace.

The March on Washington included King's most famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” Powerful diction within his speech caused listeners to hang onto every last word. Relevance and truth stand comfortably in every empowering metaphor. He did not need a call to action that involved mindless violence; his words resonated within every individual listening.

Because of this, Martin Luther King Jr. was successful in his efforts toward gaining racial equality.

These three incredible peaceful figures are successful because of their commitment to nonviolence. Malala is fighting for education. Success and recognition are following her every step of the way. Mahatma Gandhi led the Indian people to an independent life, and his peaceful actions will forever be known and admired. Martin Luther King Jr. aimed for racial equality, and his efforts live in admiration due to the freedom he successfully and rightfully achieved for an innumerable number of individuals.

Peaceful efforts are effective efforts. Courage, strength, and wisdom do not go unnoticed; rather, these qualities are applauded and valuable. War is not the answer because it is an ineffective and counterproductive way to deal with issues that only result in the creation of new critical issues.


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