"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
Nelson Mandela, 1994
“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.”
No, it's not a blog post about weight or diet, or even about height. Other than perhaps in a metaphorical sense. This is a follow up to a couple of conversations I've had this week that have really got me thinking.
The first was a discussion about power and abuse of power at a leadership development session I attended earlier in the week. Mostly when we talk about abuse of power, we tend to think about how people exercise a power to the detriment of those around them - but it's equally an abuse if the exercise of power (or perhaps talent?) is witheld. When inaction leads to less than satisfactory outcomes, the sins of omission and not just commision.
The second was a very deep and philosophical discussion last night after half a bottle of bubbly with a good friend, about the moral imperative to 'be big', to stand up and be counted, to use and share your talents for the greater good, as well as for your own sanity and self worth.
And while both of these have got me thinking, I'm not quite sure where they're taking me. I blogged previously about the importance of being who you are, and allowing, encouraging others to be who they are too. It was also a post about coming to terms with who you are and embracing it. What I'm now starting to think about is whether or not I use the talents that I have to the best of my abilities and to the greater good (oh dear, that sounds really pompous but as someone who strongly believes in public value and the importance of having a moral purpose, that's a real driving force for me).
No conclusions yet but a different set of thoughts to follow for a while. If I get anywhere I'll share it with you, in the meantime, feel free to ponder on this set of issues and decide for yourself whether it's a challenge you want to take on/are already taking on.
"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house."