I recently heard legendary folk/gospel/spiritual singer Odetta share this quote in a live radio broadcast, but missed it when she named its author, and since then I've been trying to paraphrase it and really let it sink in because it's perfece––i think. The other day our new friend Maria sent D an email with the exact quote and it turns out that it was first spoken by none other than Nelson Mandela. Here goes:
"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 will not feel insecure around you.
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 to
do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others:
-Nelson Mandela at his inaugural address as president of Sout Africa 1994
Well said, man.