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Categories: Family

He Named Me Malala

My son Peyton was named after his paternal grandfather who died shortly after my daughter was born. Peyton means village warrior. His middle names are my husband’s favorite prophet from the Bible and my husband’s middle name. All his life my son’s names have seemed perfect for him. Like his namesake, he talks too much and has a knack for making a short story long. Like the prophet, there is quite a lot of fiestiness to my son. His names certainly accurately describe who he is and from where he came.


Photo Credit Wanda Fernandez Thomas of MadCris Images


When selecting names for the twins, Darren must have tried out half a million combinations. He named the twins Zahirah and Camille. Zahirah means bright and shining one. She fits that name perfectly with her smile, personally and sweet spirit. Camille means servant of the church. Again, this is a name that perfectly fits its owner. She serves her family and has a fierce, mighty spirit that will enable to do great things for the world around her.

All these names were thought about, prayed about and perfectly fit the recipient. Each of my children has a name with meaning, purpose and a destiny attached. The names they have are all a call to great action. My children have been taught that though they are young, they are mighty and do great things. Changing the world is something everyone can do, it s not only something for the old, rich and powerful.

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai


Often in life people have little or no respect for small things. They tend  not to appreciate small beginnings, small people and small steps. It is a mistake to despise small steps and small beginnings. In church I was always taught that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. It is also said that pebbles tossed in water cause ripples that rock oceans. Another way to put it is that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Finally, to quote William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Often people want to change the world, to correct the problems they see. But something stops them. Often what stops them is that they see the big picture, the big problem and do not know how to fix the problem. What these people do not understand is the power of small beginnings. Perhaps they were never taught the proper way to eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

What I liked about Malala Yousafzai’s story is that she started small. She was a girl who wanted to go to school. She did not start out with a decision to get every girl in the world an opportunity to get an education. However, her small efforts caused ripples throughout the world. Her small actions caused others to take small actions. Combined, all these small actions have caused big changes and big ripples. There are websites, books, documentaries and movements all across the world bearing her name and carrying her message.   All this from her small beginning.

Take time now to look  at your life. What changes do you want to make? What dreams do you want to make come true? What plans would you like to pursue No matter what they are, you can reach them. Start today with a small step. Tomorrow, do another small step. A step at a time, an action at a time will take you from dream to success.

So, the question for you this serene day is,  what small step are you ready to take to make your word what you want it to be?

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Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • I love all of your kids' names. I have only named one of mine and the honor for the other three went to dad. People thought that was weird, but he did okay. ;)

  • You are so right! There is a lot of power in a name. I'm so looking forward to seeing this movie. Malala is such an inspiration.

  • What a great post, I loved how much thought your husband put in to picking each of your children's names and what a great job he did!

  • Beautiful name and such an inspiring post. I can't wait to meet her one of these days!

  • I'm dying to see this movie. What an inspiration to children everywhere!

  • I have been hearing a lot about Malala lately. My father chose my name after he vetoed my mom's first choice (because of an ex girlfriend with the same name or something like that). For my two younger brothers, my dad chose names, but my mom vetoed his original choice for being too unconventional and "too Irish". Seamus and Malechy are names that would be considered trendy now, but 20+ years ago people would have thought they were crazy! :)

  • I agree that a name plays a big role in how you grow up. You would think it did not matter so much but it does and it's sad that a lot of the stereotypes for names really come to life. I do not have kids but when I do I will think carefully on what I name them. Thank you for sharing!

  • My best friend and I went and saw her speak here in Denver. She is simply amazing.

    • I know, she's so brave and so young too! Impressive.

  • So very interesting that you posted this... my daughter is in Grade 4 and their school is raising money for Malala. She just asked me if this was the "same Malala that got shot in the head because she wanted to go to school". Small world!

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