Are We Afraid We Would Make a Difference?
A lucky part of being who and where I am is that I get have conversations about people’s passions and dreams for the future. I hear their heads describing their skills and talents. I hear their hearts explaining how they long to follow their calling.
The wish is always there, often unspoken — sometimes from fear of it, sometimes from a lack of ownership.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a young man. He had some idea of his future, but not yet a whole one. He asked my experience. I said is that, if he were going to make one mistake, I suspected that he would not think big enough.
“Not think big enough,” he pondered that phrase.
“Yes, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone think too big for years, maybe forever.”
He asked for more. I elaborated in this way.
We make our ideas smaller by thinking we weren’t meant to do something. Other folks were meant to change things. We were meant to live with them. Why do we argue for that? Isn’t the opposite an equally valid argument?
Why do we shy away from what we long to be doing?
Are we afraid that we actually could make a difference?
“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.”
Martin Luther King
They were each one person with a refusal to follow their fear.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
One person can change the world with belief in a world-sized idea.
This is not talk. I truly do . . . plan . . .. to . . . Change the World.
With capital letters.
Why not me? Why not you? Why not all of us?
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Mandela’s speech was written by Marianne Williamson.