“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'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.”
That quote is probably familiar to most of us, as one of the most famous parts of one of Nelson Mandela's speeches.
When I was in London a week ago, an amazing woman enlightened me as to the true origin of this speech. Mr. Mandela actually never wrote, borrowed or even spoke this inspirational quote. It was actually from a book written in 1992 by an American woman named Marianne Williamson that I (and I assume many others) never heard of...
...and who says feminism isn't necessary these days?
Here's what I found on the subject: "The famous passage from her book is often erroneously attributed to the inaugural address of Nelson Mandela. About the misattribution Williamson said, "Several years ago, this paragraph from A Return to Love began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people."