Youth Icons Who Have Risen Above The Ordinary And Are A True Source Of Inspiration

Malala Yousafzai

In this vast sea of humanity, we find certain persons, who have risen above the ordinary and who by their qualities, talents or simply by dint of hard labour have reached such heights of excellence that the rest of us lesser mortals can’t help but admire them and make them a source of inspiration. They become Icons.

Every era in history has produced icons who have made an impact on their fellowmen. During the freedom movement in our country, we had several brave men and women whom we have learnt to revere. The world too has provided us with great men and women who have stirred our imagination and have changed the thinking of entire generations.

Today’s youth too need icons, icons of their own generation, to look up to and imbibe their qualities and thus make their own life worthwhile. We need youthful personalities not just from the world of glamour and entertainment but young people who have contributed to the progress of civilization. So when we think of youth icons, lets look across the border. We find a name that should surely touch our hearts. Malala Yusufzahi, who won the International Children’s Peace Award a few years ago, should be an inspiration to all of us in this strife ridden world and especially our two countries. The refreshing image of young Malala addressing the august gathering at the United Nations was awe inspiring. This young person is the epitome of human courage, the indomitable spirit that knows no bounds, cannot be constrained and can break all shackles in order to rise and shine. Freedom for them is a rare commodity ,so valuable, having to struggle against Herculian and fearful odds to experience even a small iota of it.A bullet through your head just to be able to go to school is fearful beyond imagination.

Here on our side of the border, we enjoy the freedom of expression, which we so often take for granted. Malala’s act of courage drives home the fact of how fortunate we are to live in a society, where we taste the heady wine of freedom, right from childhood .A little child has the freedom to make a choice of his brand of chocolates, icecreams and toys and in most affluent families, parents allow him to indulge in this freedom. More importantly teenage students have the feedom to choose what they want to study and in most cases, if they do well can pursue a career of their choice.


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Hi, Instagram! So happy to be celebrating my 21st birthday in #Brazil!

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While girls like Malala have to fight tooth and nail for basic rights, like the right to read and write, we have the privilege to choose from a wide range of subjects from fashion designing, hospitality, aeronautics and a host of others. While they have to adorn a burkha our girls have a variety to choose from the traditional saree to the latest gowns or trousers.

It’s time to introspect. We need to use our freedom constructively to use it to the best advantage not only for ourselves but also to give back to society. We need to dream, to dare, to do. We cannot help but admire Malala. She is a youth icon not only in her own country but across the world. We cannot see her as a foreign national. The situation in her country and the retraints in their society is unimaginable to us. Yet our counterparts across the border are humans like us with the same dreams, the same hopes and aspirations and the desire to live life on their own terms.

We need to use our freedom purposefully for a more just and classless society, where every child is well- nourished and can wield a pen, where every woman is honoured.

What we need today are youth icons, not just celebrities from the world of entertainment. They are also important but we need young people who can truly make a difference in our thought process, our attitude, our outlook.

Another icon who has truly inspired us is Sundar Pichai CEO of Google. This person is worth admiring because he rose from humble beginnings to be such an indispensible person in today’s world of communication by his abilities and hard work. Pichai lived in a small house in Chennai shared with tenents, without refrigerator, slept on the floor and today he is one of the highest paid CEOs in the world.

‘’There was a simplicity in my life which was very nice as compared to today’s world’’

These words of Pichai drives home the fact that such great men are indeed fit to be youth icons.


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