Community & Government

Determining Your Values

Malala Yousafzai

Lesson time 09:00 min

You know in your heart what you stand for—you just have to find it. Learn how Malala looks to both her heritage and her future aspirations to inform the values she holds true.

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Topics include: Malala’s Value #1: Truth-Telling · Malala’s Value #2: Hope and Optimism · Malala’s Value #3: Listen to All Sides · Malala’s Value #4: Amplify Other Voices


[MUSIC PLAYING] - In this section, we will talk about values. Why are values important as part of your advocacy? And how do you find your values? For me, values are the principles that you set for yourself as a code of conduct in your life. How do you make decisions? What are the principles that you have in those decision making? If you are wondering about your values, I think a good way to start would be to take a piece of paper, write down the-- the things that you would say are a no for you, you will never do this. I would never tell a lie. I would never harm a person. I would stay away from causes that are to do with pollution. I would stay away from causes that affects our environment in a negative way. And then, on the-- on the do's list, you can say that, for me, honesty is an important principle. I always want to be truthful in my statements. I want to stick to facts. And you might see that there might be some principles which are-- sort of which fall in the middle, because you are not very sure about them or you feel like they are connected to your culture, but do not really reflect you. So it's a good way to start you know with the noes, but also with the yeses and then looking at it from the religious, cultural, and social perspective as well. What are the religious values? What are the cultural values? And what are just-- you know, just the social values that we hold in our society? For me, personally, I believe in speaking out for my family, my friends, and also the area where I was born, because that is my birthplace. So in this scenario, like, my values are helping me in deciding who I want to speak for. When you know what your values are, you would be in a better position to make your decisions. And my first value is telling the truth. For me, personally, in my activism for girls' education, sticking to truth means that I stick to facts, that I say what is correct. I do not exaggerate statements, that I do not make up statements on my own, and that I'm a bit more realistic about what is the impact of girls' education on the-- you know, on the social issues that we talk about. And I know that, you know, that education plays a very key role in a girl's life. It empowers her. It emancipates her. It provides her with better opportunities in her life. But I also recognize that education is one factor in her life. There are other factors that would also be influencing her. So I would not make a statement such as that, you know, when you educate a girl, all her problems are gone and she-- it's guaranteed that she gets a job and it's guaranteed that, you know, the world will just change all of a sudden. I think you have to be a bit more realistic. It sounds quite simple and quite general. But it really helps me and guides me. Because, oftentimes, I'm in situations where I feel like I do not have the complete information about an issue. In those situations, I feel like I need more time. And ...

About the Instructor

When she first took a stand, Malala simply acted on her belief that all Pakistani girls like her had a right to education. Now the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history teaches you how to fight injustice in the world and in your everyday life, starting with your own community. Learn Malala’s framework for influencing change: Research issues, build a strategy, take action, and create an impact right where you are.

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Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Prize–winning activist Malala teaches you how to be an activist in your own community, from research and strategy to action and impact.

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