This quote's main idea about not playing small in life, I've spoken about before. It serves nobody when we play small in life. When we choose to not be the best we can be, not living our life the best that we can; we really are hurting ourselves obviously but we are also affecting others around us too.
This past week the world lost one of the biggest difference makers that mankind has ever seen. When I saw this quote from Nelson Mandela, it struck me as one that I had to use this week. Here was a man who not only made it through some of the harshest times anyone has ever survived (being in prison for 27 years), but then came out not angry or bitter, but he came out more inspired to change things for the better. It makes me wonder how each of us can work to make positive changes in our lives and in the lives of others, without being in prison. But if we think about it, maybe some (or most) of us are already in "prison".
Nelson Mandela also answered a question after he got out of prison - the question wondered why he was not angry and bitter at his captors. He said (and I'm paraphrasing here) if he chose to be that way - than he would have been in a far worse prison the rest of his life. It totally makes sense to me. Our choices and how we respond to things along with the way we think, can literally put us in our own "prison" which keeps us from doing great things in our life. It forces us to play small in life. Nelson Mandela lived 95 years, 27 of those were in a physical prison under harsh conditions. How many of us lives in a different type of prison and how many years has that forced us to play small in life? Looking back, I've been stuck there for too many of my 47 years, that's for sure. As I sit here with my cup of coffee thinking about the meanings behind Mr. Mandela's words - I have figured out that we all hold the key to open up the door to our prison and walk out so we can start playing BIG in life so we can make a difference in our life and more importantly, in the lives of others.
It would be great to hear some thoughts and ideas - especially from younger people that may have not really known what Nelson Mandela was all about. Maybe over the last few days since his death, it's made you want to find out more about the man and what he was about. As always - let me and others know your thoughts and your ideas.