Dealing with power is the same as trying to overcome the most dreadful obstacle all individuals encounter, fear. When power is in the palm of an individual, the ability to take advantage of one’s own fright is easily obtained. Leaders, for instance, have the capability to influence their audience by putting fear to use. The two exceedingly well-known people who have had a great impact on American lives are Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King Jr. Malala lived in fear back home because her gender restricted her right to education and Martin Luther King Jr.
thought of fear as a part of the basic necessities of life. They formed their platform with their speeches being based on their experience with fear and have become inspirations throughout the globe ever since. On July 12, 2013 Malala Yousafzai recited her first public speech at the first Youth Takeover of the United Nations, after surviving a gunshot in the head by the Taliban. Martin Luther King Jr. made his speech on August 28, 1932 where many came together for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom around the Lincoln Memorial. Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King Jr.
are two influential figures who used their power to conquer fear in two entirely different ways by keeping the same ambition in mind, change.To start off with, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala wish for peace and strive for change but through good actions, their tone throughout their speeches was empowering. King and Malala both showed a great deal of emotion as they recited their speeches, their use of words left their audience speechless. For instance, Malala talked about her reaction to her experience, “I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me. I would not shoot him.
” (Malala) Instead of talking about the Taliban committing such a horrible deed against her, Malala forgave him. If the Taliban had listened to Malala’s speech it would have appeared as if she slapped their horrendous mindset with her kind words. Similarly, Martin Luther King Jr. influenced his audience to continue fighting the battle of freedom, “As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” (MLK) King wished for everyone to continue walking forward and not look back unless they were learning from their mistakes. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Malala’s speeches represent their stand for civil rights and show affection to all those affected negatively because of the circumstances.
In their speeches, King and Malala both had an understanding of the several other individuals who had stood up for civil rights prior to them but were punished in one way or another. Malala stated, “There are hundreds of Human rights activists and social workers who are not only speaking for human rights, but who are struggling to achieve their goals of education, peace and equality. Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them.” (Malala) Throughout her speech Malala was aware of the fact that she was the voice of the several people therefore she took the opportunity and made something out of it. She referred to all those who are fighting for civil rights and the poor innocent people who lost their lives. Correspondingly, Martin Luther King Jr.
stated how African Americans were not treated the same as others simply because of their color, “But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” (MLK) These powerful words by King were like flames of fire coming out of his mouth. Martin Luther King Jr. became such an inspiration, his legendary words live on today.
Moreover, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala use their platform to show their emotion for what they are fighting for and display their support for nonviolence. Malala’s personal experience has had a great impact on her life, she has seen violence and been a victim of it. In her speech she shared what she took out of this horrific experience, “The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died.
Strength, power and courage was born.” (Malala) Malala learned something from the Taliban, violence is for the weak and for those who cannot protect themselves without the help of weapons. Comparatively, Martin Luther King Jr. repeatedly stated his wish for nonviolence as well. King stated, “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.” (MLK) His message throughout his speech was to obtain justice by performing good actions, Martin Luther King Jr.
influenced peace. On the other hand, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala had a few differences in their speeches, Malala’s main and dominant argument throughout her speech is education for all but King’s topic over the course of his speech is equality between all races. Malala’s father was the founder of a school in which she attended, becoming the reason for her fear of the Taliban hurting her father. Eventually, Malala learned to turn that fear into bravery by speaking up against the injustice. In her speech Malala said, “Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorists group.
I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child. I want education for the sons and the daughters of all the extremists especially the Taliban.” (Malala) She not only forgave the man who shot her and could have ended her life, but she wished for his children to receive an education and have a secured future. However, Martin Luther King Jr.
fought for the basic rights that African Americans were deprived of. He stated, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”” (MLK) King wished for nothing but equality for every single individual.Furthermore, Malala talks about the effects of her experience and the impact it has had on her life in her speech. She not only saw the damage weapons caused, but she was a victim as well, “We realise the importance of our voice when we are silenced.
In the same way, when we were in Swat, the north of Pakistan, we realised the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns.” (Malala) She addressed the problem of not being able to say anything when you want to say everything, Malala was not old enough to go through such pain but it has made her the beautiful person she is. Whereas Martin Luther King mentioned the discrimination Negroes had suffered, and all those who had fought the battle for equality but unfortunately had been punished. “I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.
Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.” (MLK) Malala constantly specifies her stand on women throughout her speech, she speaks about women using independence as their power to fight for all that is rightfully theirs.
“Dear fellows, today I am focusing on women’s rights and girls’ education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women’s rights rather I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.” (Malala) In her speech she empowered women across the globe to become independent and take their lives into their own hands.
However, MLK repeatedly stated his wish for each and every individual to achieve success in their battle for freedom with the use of nonviolence. “But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” (MLK) King influenced his audience to be mindful of the importance of remaining neutral when it came to weapons.Briefly, Malala and Martin Luther King Jr.
both faced a great deal of hardships to form their platforms, from which they became such well known inspirations across the country. Malala’s and MLK’s speeches display empowerment, nonviolence, and equality for all regardless of color or gender. Throughout Malala’s speech, she states her stand on women’s rights, how her experience completely changed her life, as well as her wish for every child to receive an education. Conversely, in MLK’s speech he clearly expresses his standpoint on discrimination, nonviolence, and equality between all races from the beginning of his speech up until the end. Malala and MLK had an audience to impress, and did exactly that, they also became the strength of many others through their speeches.
If they had not occupied positions of dominant power how much of an impact would Malala and MLK have really had?