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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,” begins the famous quote recently used so effectively in the whole-family movie “Akeelah and the Bee.” Print it out! Hang it up. Cry when you read it. But do you know who wrote it? I’ll tell you after I let those unfamiliar with the passage digest the whole thing.
“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, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is 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.”
Author? Inspirational author and teacher Marianne Williamson.
After the full Chattering clan saw “Akeelah” last weekend, I unwittingly perpetuated a common falsehood: “That quote is from Nelson Mandela,” I said. Nobody knows how the author-identity confusion started, but Williamson wrote the famous passage for her book “A Return to Love”; she straightens out the confusion here for good.