In an Instagram post marked with humility, Muniba Mazari on July 7 shared the news of being recognized as one of the most inspiring global thought leaders of 2021 by The Excelligent. It’s an honor rightly conferred on someone whose goal is to spread the message of hope and to dispel darkness.
The first Goodwill Ambassador for UN-Women Pakistan, Muniba is a lady who wears several hats. She is an artist, a speaker, a humanitarian, an anchor person, a model, and a singer. She was shortlisted by BBC for the 100 Inspirational Women of 2015, and she also made it into the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2016.
Muniba’s story is rather unique because she is one of those rare individuals who has turned a tragedy into a triumph. A traumatic car accident resulted in grave injuries and left her wheelchair-bound. She fought against her tears and bonded with those painful moments with such grace and dignity that she now stands before the world as an emblem of strength, endurance, and determination. Rightly has she been ordained as the “Iron Lady of Pakistan.”
Overcoming fear and emerging strong as a symbol for female empowerment
Many societies are governed by patriarchal norms that influence one’s way of thinking to a considerable extent. For instance, a woman shys away from the thought of a divorce, thinking that she will be judged harshly. She is again worried about tongues wagging if she cannot have a child.
Muniba was shadowed by these fears as well. Following her accident, she wanted to cling on to a person who did not want her anymore, but she succeeded in liberating herself by setting her husband free. She made herself so strong emotionally that on the day of her husband’s new marriage, she sent him a text which read: ““I am so happy for you, and I wish you all the best”.
The reality that she would never be a biological mother because of her injuries devastated Muniba. She crossed that barrier too by adopting a baby boy who now gives her immense joy and whom she loves from the bottom of her heart and calls her hero.
Muniba, the motivational speaker
It was Muniba’s TEDx Islamabad speech of 2014 that earned her love and admiration from all parts of the globe. There, she chronicles her tireless odyssey, reminiscing about her trials and tribulations and recounting the journey which made her arrive at the point where she is today. Be it her tweets, her Instagram posts, or her videos on her YouTube channel, Muniba continues to spread positivity and is an inspiration for others to brave the storms in life with calm and ease. I would like to share some of her life lessons which I feel are extremely motivating and enlightening.
We all are perfectly imperfect
We are conditioned to believe that everything needs to be perfect, and there are people who tell us that we need to reach that state of perfection. There are different rules for men and women. Muniba voices that “nothing is perfect in this world”, and that is perfectly all right. We need to think less about how others view us and learn to live with our imperfections and listen to our hearts.
It is not all about a perfect relationship, a perfect career, or the perfect amount of money one earns. What makes us perfect is when we make someone smile and do something good for people around us.
Gratitude is the key
Muniba says that when we say “everything” we cannot pick and choose even if certain things do not happen according to our plans. Both the good and the bad need to be accepted. Certain events may break us physically, but they transform our souls because perhaps God wants us to become the best version of ourselves.
We hope for too much ease and comfort from life, but “life is a test, life is a trial, and trials are never easy.” The journey is full of obstacles, and at the end of the day, when we overcome these barriers and never give up, that is what defines us. Muniba explains that we may be complaining about the life we are having, not realizing that someone who is not as lucky may be dreaming to have the life we are leading. So gratitude is the key, and we need to embrace even the sorrows and miseries with all our heart and soul and count all the blessings in life.
With the pain comes the healing
Life is a series of unpredictable events in which everything can change in the blink of an eye. Muniba affirms that changes made her a better person every single day. She asserts that what life did to her does not define her. But what she became in return in the middle of all the turmoil and adversity is what defines her.
Muniba congratulates all those who are in pain. She says that one who is in pain is on the way to becoming an empath. Only by accepting and embracing one’s own pain can he or she understand the pain of others and have the power to heal the world.
Words can make you or break you!
Muniba believes in the power of words. She says that the words we use are so strong that they can either heal our soul or damage us forever.
The immense value that she attaches to her words is evident. She shares that she always tries to use the positive words in her life wherever she goes:
“They call it adversity, I call it opportunity. They call it weakness, I call it strength. They call me disabled, I call myself differently abled. They see my disability. I see my ability.”
Patience and positivity define Muniba Mazari
#AspireToInspire is the hashtag Muniba frequently uses in her social media posts. That is indeed an appropriate choice because she makes an earnest effort to inspire others by spreading the rays of optimism.
“Laughter isn’t the absence of pain or grief but the presence of contentment and gratitude in one’s heart!” says a recent tweet. What can be a more positive way to look at life with such admiration and embrace the joys and sorrows with equal acceptance?
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” goes the saying. Muniba is one such remarkable woman who has replaced all bitterness and negativity with abundant showers of love and positive vibes. She carries with her a basket full of memories. Those thoughts from the past carve the identity of who she is today. Her tale of courage and persistence transcends time and is itself a statement to never give up even when adversity strikes.
(This article was featured in Women’s Web )