‘Girl Rising’ provides perspective

Growing up in the United States, we have been so privileged with so many wonderful things, such as having the opportunity to receive an education at a young age. Yet, we so easily take these things for granted.

School might be a cruel combination of both good and bad, but even through the long days and wide-eyed nights we are so spoiled to have the power of education at our fingertips.

When I think of school, my mind usually flutters toward sleepless nights, hours of non-stop homework and knowing my only social activity is ordering a venti double espresso coffee from some chipper Starbucks worker.

There are many times I find myself complaining about the hard work that comes with taking multiple classes because I’d much rather be on a beach somewhere sipping a slushy adult beverage.

What I didn’t realize is how truly selfish I have been.

I recently came across a documentary called “Girl Rising” that instantly brought a little change and realization into my life.

These stories of nine young girls from developing countries put a spotlight on the selfishness in our society.

We focus on complaints of waking up early for classes or having to read hundreds of pages from textbooks, but there are people in other countries who just wish they were able to read and write.

The mind is a powerful thing but a well-educated mind can change the world.

If other countries were well-educated, the world would be a more established and peaceful place. We would see a difference in the way people live, act and treat others.

“Girl Rising,” illustrates astounding statistics that open your mind.

Here are some numbers to think about:

• 66 million girls are out of school globally.

• School is not free in more than 50 countries.

• A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20 percent more as an adult.

Being an educated woman in a growing society is a powerful tool to have.

While I personally don’t have the ability to change the world overnight, although I sincerely wish I did, I think it’s up to all of us to make positive changes in our world.

I have made a personal vow to complain less about the power and knowledge I am capable of gaining because there are millions of people who would love to be in my shoes and stay up late reading and writing.

I also vow to help make changes in our world, however and wherever I have the chance.

Knutzen wants everyone to appreciate their education and watch “Girl Rising.”


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