A time to reflect

I was incredibly fortunate to be gifted tickets for my birthday from my parents to see Malala Yusafzai in Melbourne this week.  I have followed the story of this amazing young woman, read her book and watched her documentary.  In person she was every bit as inspiring, courageous, wise and funny as I hoped she would be.  Listening to her speak and converse with the wonderful Annabel Crabb was an evening I will never forget.  A beautiful reminder at such an appropriate time of the year that one person, one idea, one voice, one pen or one book really can change the world.  The ripple effect of Malala’s story and her advocacy for the education of girls around the world is the clearest example I can think of today of an ordinary person who experienced and overcame incredible adversities to do extraordinary things.

At this time of year when many of us reflect on the year that was and what is to come, remember the love and friendship that surrounds us and the loss that we feel so acutely during this season, it is so important to search for and find the beauty in our world, the humanity and the hope.

Like many of you, this year has been a challenging one for me, but also one of deep personal growth, so listening to Malala was a timely and beautiful reminder of all that is good in us, and the good we can do if we choose love, peace and hope.

Sending my warm wishes to you all at this time.  Be kind to yourselves, to each other and celebrate all that is good in your life and in our world.

I very much look forward to continuing conversations, working with you and impacting change together in 2019.

Anna Stanford