Souls can make sacrifice and endure great pain, even death, not only for their own learning and growth as they take a stand for inner truth, but for the good of humanity in its efforts to rid itself of outmoded and destructive beliefs.
Let us honor the soul of Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani school pupil and education activist who, from the age of 12 began to write about the need to educate young girls, and who was, as a result of her outspokenness, shot in the head at the age of 15 in order to silence her.
Let us also honor the soul of Farzana Parveen, 25 year old Pakistani woman who was stoned to death this past week by members of her family as she contested the court case being brought by her family against her husband, accusing him of abducting her. Acknowledgment of her willing consent to this marriage became the basis for her stoning on the grounds of the district courthouse in Lahore, Pakistan.
In this honoring, let it be known that souls can make sacrifice and endure great pain, even death, not only for their own learning and growth as they take a stand for inner truth, but for the good of humanity in its efforts to rid itself of outmoded and destructive beliefs.
Such sacrifice is not chosen by the human self, though it is expressed through the body, but by the soul-self that recognizes both its own need to take such a stand on behalf of its own beliefs and values, while at the same time endeavoring to bring forth a message that will awaken the world into re-considering its views in areas where human rights are being violated.
We who witness these acts cannot know the internal mental or emotional state that was present in order to create out of the threat of harm a greater good. But we can bear witness to the courage of each soul that is willing to endure the consequences of its actions, whatever they may be, on behalf of truth, even giving up life itself to do so.
When we witness an action such as the one this past week that has had a worldwide effect through the power of shock, breaking through the barriers of culture and language that separate us from each other, when we experience a breakdown of these barriers, we can know that the soul of the one initiating such action has, at some level, chosen to make a gift of its own life-purpose and even of its life in order to further ends that are larger than those of the personal self.
We can thus bear witness not only to the tragedy of the assault of Malala Yousafzai, but also to the power of her voice which has enabled her to become an icon and symbol of the right of girls, everywhere, to be educated. We can bear witness, also, to the brutality of the death of Farzana Parveen, yet pray for the good that will potentially come out of the world’s shock concerning the ancient practices of family ‘honor killings,’ and more generally, the practice of treating daughters as property.
We must bow toward these gestures of sacrifice made by each one who, at the cost of their own potential harm, desires to bring good into the world, not through engaging in war or killing, but through the power of standing in the light of their own truth.
May the souls of all who struggle to express in this way be blessed.
And finally, let us honor the deaths of two young girls in India whose bodies were found this past week hung from a mango tree, and who, while not having made a conscious choice to stand for human dignity and the dignity of women, have, nevertheless, contributed to the further unmasking of sexual darkness and its malevolent practices within India and elsewhere. May their sacrifice also be blessed.