Today is my birthday – May 11:
sharing my favorite quote from Marianne Williamson
Last weekend I went to see the movie Akeelah and the Bee.
A wonderful movie about an 11 year old girl from South Los Angeles, who
learns self-worth and confidence, along her journey to the Scripps
National Spelling Bee in Washington DC. The movie was also
special to me, because in 2005, my 2nd cousin Tracey Hinder
went to both the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC, and
the Canspell Spelling Bee in Ottawa ON. You can read my stories and
media stories about Tracey Hinder.
I was thrilled to see my favorite quote by Marianne Williamson used at such a key pivotal moment in the movie. The first time I read this quote about 6 years ago, it brought tears to my eyes. It spoke to me.
enjoy the writings of Marianne Williamson, especially her book Return
to Love, and also the community work of Nelson Mandela, to whom the
quote is often mis-attributed too. But both these people are good
of heart and come from the same place. They are both gifts of
Mandela will always be special to me, because of my study of his work
to bring racial harmony to South Africa. I was honoured to
assigned to represent the Southwest African People's Organization at
the National Model United Nations in New York City in 1989, as well as
Mandela's own African National Congress for my own Political Science
class Model UN at Capilano College. In 1990, while I was still
recovering from chemotherapy treatment, and my hair starting to grow
again, I was fortunate to be watching the news when Nelson Mandela
stepped off the plane and into freedom, after his many years of
politicaly imprisonment. Both Mandela and Williamson are
inspirations for me.
I think back on my life to each of the failures and the triumphs, the
fears and the joys, I know it has been an amazing life. And to
think that I almost died at age 29, from a cancer tumor in 1989, makes
it all the more accentuated. When I turned 30, I was just happy
to be able to celebrate a birthday. When I turned 40, I was
dealing with a depression.
life is good. I am pleased to be a part of so many good things in
the world: The Save Joy Kogawa House campaign, the Chinese
Canadian Head Tax redress committees, The Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon
boat team and dinner events.
is about what we do with our gifts. Life itself is a gift.
And our lives are best lived by sharing our joys, wisdom and talents
by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on
the Principles of A Course in Miracles
(See note below)
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
by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3
This is often found on the Internet incorrectly stated as a quote by
Nelson Mandela from the Inauguration Speech, 1994. Here are links to
two official African government sites with Mandela's speech: