On our recent trip to Iceland, I ended up watching Akeelah and the Bee on the flight – it was about a spelling bee and sounded interesting. Laurence Fishburne was in it, so I was sold. It turned out to be much better and more inspirational than I expected.
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? Your playing small does not serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
The movie attributes the quote to Nelson Mandela, but it’s actually adapted from a passage written by writer Marianne Williamson, from her book A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles.
I’ve occasionally wondered if you really have an obligation to live up to your full potential. What if you could be a neurosurgeon and save countless lives, but you just want a quiet life? With more life experience under my belt, I’m leaning towards living your life as you see fit. While I think people should be contributing members of society in their own way, they aren’t required to “serve the world”.
Nonetheless, I think both text is powerful and inspirational. Even as an atheist, I can believe in the (very metaphorical) light that we all have inside of us. The movie continually supports the text through the actions taken by the characters.