Sunday, June 26, 2005

Biggest Fear

Traveling a lot lately I have seen Coach Carter twice. It is a bit sappy and painted a bit thick for my taste. There too, only after they have their day job school on an O.K. level were they allowed to follow their passion basketball.

Carter asked them over and over: " What are your biggest fear?". Until one student comes back and says:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most
frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your
playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about
shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant
to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is
within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own
light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we
are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I thought: Wow, that is deep. That can't come from the authors of the movie. Turns out it is from a speech by Nelson Mandela and was originally written by Marianne Williamson. [Correction: Nelson Mandela never used the quote.]

P.S. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for over 40 years. He came out of it and didn't have an Axe to grind, that puts him up there with the saints. His autobiography Long Walk to Freedom is available on the internet and very inspirational:
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed
and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that
that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely
achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not
taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even
more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but
to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test
of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.


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