A week ago, I watched a movie called Coach Carter about a basketball coach who not only teaches his players how to win a game of ball but also how to succeed in the game of life. If you like inspirational, feel-good movies based (loosely) off of real life stories, I highly recommend giving this movie a watch. Samuel L. Jackson is the boss. Seriously
My favorite moment in the film, however, is not when the team rallies to support a fellow athlete (a truly touching moment, to be sure), or when Coach Carter gives a great speech to the superintendent about the importance of educating young basketball players from the ghetto. Instead, the moment comes when one of the characters stands up and delivers an emotional monologue based off a beautiful poem written by Marianne Williamson, called Our Greatest Fear. The scene is below (the poem starts at 0:40):
"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.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.
We were all meant to shine like children do.
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."
Powerful, beautiful, and deeply moving, this poem (paraphrased in the movie) never fails to give me the chills. If only we could find a way to live a life in tune with the principles of this poem. If only we could liberate ourselves from fear--fear from rejection, anger, and hate. But as hard as it seems like this may be to do, there are people doing simply that. Every day, in every corner of the world--just one person can start the cascade of goodness that reaches hundreds, even thousands. Whether it be a young Pakistani girl standing up time and time again against terrorism so that she and others like her can receive and education, or a rape victim in Haiti who empowers women like her to take control and to fight back against sexual assault, we can all shine in the hopes of allowing others to do the same.