"What Would You Say" Contest Entry





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Uploaded on Jun 15, 2011

I know it's a little hard to hear, so I've included the text. It's supposed to be 4 minutes, but I ended up talking too fast =(


If I should have a daughter,
I'm going to call her "Aslan,"
So she knows that, like the lion in Narnia, she has the power to change this world if she sets her mind to it.

And instead of lipstick, I'm going to keep tubes of hope and idealism in my dresser drawer,
So when she wanders in looking for wonder,
She will smear her lips with everything she needs to speak out;
Because there is nothing more wondrous than children taking charge to change our world in ways adults can't.

And she will learn to lift up her eyes to see the beauty of this world;
To open up her heart and mind so that she, like a sponge, can soak up the rivers of knowledge that flow past our very doorstep every day,
And appreciate the showers of blessings that befall us in the thousands.

And when she is able to stand up on her own two feet and look over the edge of the windowsill out into the world,
Only to see a place full of war, poverty, hunger
Pain, fear, heartache,
And she realizes that Wonder Woman isn't coming to save us,
I'll make sure she knows that she doesn't have to wear the cape alone;
Because no matter how big your heart,
Your hands will always be too small to catch everything that's broken in this world.
But baby, I'll say, don't you worry, because momma will sew you a cape that stretches across the entire world,
So that everyone can stand under it and hold their hands out in unison;
Because only in unity, not in singularity, can we truly affect change.

You are a testimony to how the most powerful things come in small packages,
So even though there's a whole lot of hurt you want to heal, don't be afraid to start small.

In 1976, an economist by the name of Muhammed Yunus, was helping develop poverty-reduction strategies in rural Bangladesh;
While on a visit to a community, he discovered an interesting thing -
That poor people don't necessarily need large handouts to lift themselves out of poverty; Instead, they need a small loan to jumpstart the process, to create that first ripple,
Which, if allowed to prosper, grows to cover the entire pond.
In 2008, Yunus was awarded a Nobel Prize.
The whole world applauded him for the small steps he had taken to better the lives of millions across the world.
Local solutions with global aims.

"But mommy," she'll say, "he is a grownup with big ideas and lots of power,
And I'm just a little girl with no degrees or medals to my name";
So, to show her that you don't need titles and prestige to change the world,
I will tell her about Craig Kielburger,
Who journeyed across South Asia at the age of 13,
To see if he could change the lives of children who were suffering from exploitation, poverty, hopeless;
And change their lives he did.

So don't you let your inhibitions get in your way,
Because they can paralyze you if you let them - trust me, I know;
But if you foster that youthful spark of energy and vitality, of imagination and hope,
It will grow into a fire that will carry you forward and turn every obstacle in your path into ash.

When you're 18 years old,
Standing precariously on that invisible threshold at the end of childhood,
Be sure you carry that fire forward into adulthood.

And when you finally step into the "real world" and they hand you pessimism;
When they tell you that you are too idealistic;
When they ask you to take things seriously and "act your age" -
You tell them that the world will only be real if they act yours.

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