Inspiration is like the lotus that rises from the sludge and is untouched by the impurity of pond. It’s the illumination of soul that is unstirred by repugnance of life. As spur of hope, inspiration is the internal mettle that keeps us moving even if the sun is down. As an internal coach, inspiration often emboldens us at the end of the road to be resilient and change the axis of our life. Such grit is a gift beyond age and above reasoning to uncountable souls across the globe. Today I am sharing the narratives of some such souls whose life is a sketch of inspiration.
At 9, she was impeccant as a flower that sprouts with charm and chastity. Unaware of the hurl, she was betokened in; Nujood Ali was married to a man in his 30’s. Post marriage, her turmoil seemed endless with harsh beatings and repeated rapes by her elderly husband. However, Nujood had once heard that judges could grant divorces. At 10, Nujood broke away from all traditions and sneaked into a taxi to the nearest courthouse. When she encountered a judge, she declared firmly: “I want a divorce!” and the rest was history. Nujood’s courage and determination is kindling millions in their fight against child marriages. As Nujood shares, “at first, I felt ashamed about what had happened to me. But I passed through that. All I want now is to finish my education and become a lawyer." Today Nujood attends a private school in Sanaa, Yemen and aspires to board her dreams.
She lived in a village near the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. She was abducted and sold into slavery when she was just 12. Her life was bondage to physical & sexual abuse. At 18, she was sold and sent to London for life of servitude and drudgery. After years of affliction and agony, Mende Nazer finally managed to escape from the grind. Her fight for freedom is ongoing! Today, Mende Nazer is an author and human rights activist. Her early life’s tribulations have been featured in a 90 minute movie-‘I am Slave’. Mende’s current aspirations involve charitable work to empower and uplift the children and young people of her native Sudan.
In 2009, her story was published in Nicholas Kristoff’s acclaimed book ‘half the sky’. Her life was tragic. She was poor, vulnerable and was scorned in her village. She suffered repeated beatings from her unemployed husband for not bearing him a son. After days of emotional exile and physical toil, Saima Muhammad signed up with Kashf foundation, a microfinance organization that lends money to poor women to start business. Saima took a loan of mere 65$ to buy beads and cloth to start her own embroidery business. Today her business is flourishing. Saima even employed her husband and many families in her village into it. Her determination is exemplary of the inspiration to be self-reliant she provides to others like her in her native of Lahore, Pakistan.
Everyday we meet many nujoods, mendes and saimas in the subway or on the metro, at work, in our families or among friends. They may even be the common faces that we simply pass by while in our rush to exist. Each of those faces and each of us have a story to tell, have an idea to share, each of us have the propensity to effectuate our dreams. So let’s rise to the prowess inside to live a life that inspires before it expires.