Good Neighbors

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 does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not 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 others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Deborah Williamson from “A Return to Love”

I watched a movie last week called “Coach Carter” about a coach and his expectations for his predominately poor and disadvantaged young players. He refuses to accept that all they can succeed at is basketball and calls them to a higher standard of behavior and performance both on and off the court.

It’s a really inspiring movie and in a very moving scene one of his players repeats the above quote to him.

Since then, I have thought a lot about those words.

Our deepest fear is not inadequacy. Sometimes I think we are most afraid of success. If we try to do hard things and succeed, people might begin to expect it of us. People might look to us for solutions, or guidance, or help. We might attract attention. Then we might feel obligated. It’s safer to be mediocre.

Playing small does not serve the world. Whatever gift, talent or resource we have been given, it is not ours to hoard and protect. It is only entrusted to us to invest and use for the greater good. We are made to shine. To be light. To be salt. To improve the world wherever we are. It’s risky though. We might just lose ourselves in the bargain.

The glory of God is in everyone. We should help others manifest it in their lives as we work to manifest it our own. It is not just in some people. It is in all people. It is harder to see in some, but that is our own particular blindness. It is easier to remain blind. Seeing takes so much effort and what we see might change us in ways we are unwilling to accept.

Tuesday and Wednesday several of the leaders from Kimray attended The Forum. We heard several talks and had opportunities to participate in roundtable discussions about how to achieve alignment in our lives, organizations and communities.

The most moving moment for me was at the end of the second day. Dr. Mellor called us to be the kind of people, and lead the kinds of organizations, that change people’s lives by being good neighbors:

Keep the yard nice.

Keep the noise down.

Buy the Girl Scout cookies.

Pay your dues.

Help in times of need.

He said, “What you win people WITH, is what you win people TO.”

If we are unkind, impatient or rude, we do not love enough. If I loved people more, what would I do?

What would you do?

Don’t just think about it. Do it.