August 23, 2002
"Our Deepest Fear" by Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela
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 is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
Other people won’t feel insecure behind you.

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.


Nelson Mandela

Posted by Colm at August 23, 2002 11:40 AM
Comments

You are a great man Colm O`Gorman.
I wish you every good luck in the world.


The light begins to twinkle from the rocks
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world

Lord Tennyson

Posted by: on October 21, 2002 01:00 PM

Splendid quote, but it isn't by Mandela. It's by Marianne Williamson, from her 1992 book "Return to Love" (p. 165).

It is widely misattributed on the Web and elsewhere to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. A quick search through that very speech (also full of splendid quotable prose) on the ANC's official web site confirms that the quotation isn't there (URL below).

Just to be extra sure, I wrote to the ANC ([email protected]) asking about this very quote, and their representative Duncan Harford confirmed my suspicions:

--- begin include message ---

From: "dharford"
To: "J. Finlayson-Fife"
Subject: Re: Our Deepest Fear
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 07:47:57 +0200

Hello John

We are aware that these words have for some years now been attributed to Nelson Mandela on the internet. We do not know how this happened

These words appear neither in the May 9, 1994 inaugural speech
(http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mandela/1994/inaugct.html),

nor the May 10, 1994 inaugural speech
(http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mandela/1994/inaugpta.html),

nor any of the other speeches, statements and writings by Mr. Mandela
(http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/mandela/).

Posted by: John Finlayson-Fife on February 28, 2003 05:46 PM
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