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  • We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

    This is my favourite photograph:

    Smiling children of Kuturu village, Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh, India.

    I took the photo in November 2006 when i visited India for the first time.
    Together with the above text it was our new-years greeting/wish to friends and family.


    LIke a true Western imperialist I came to India bearing gifts; guady buables and shiny trinkets to appease the natives.

    What did I know.

    One morning I was outside on the street.

    A young girl, who I had seen from the house, and who lived across the street, came running towards me.
    "Uncle, uncle", she called.
    I looked about but realised she was calling to me.
    She came up to me and opened her hands.
    Her face opened in a smile.
    In her hands lay a beautiful grass-woven animal; a dear, with the simple lines and elegance of a cave-painting. She had just made it.
    She beckoned that I should take it: a present.

    My Western imperialist arrogance was humbled.
    I could leave my Chinese-made, plastic rubbish in my back-pack.

    Her friends came and were keen that I should take their photo.

    At first they were shy and reserved, but when I showed them the results on the digital screen they all smiled and pushed closer, and signed that I should take another. And another. And another.

    How they shine.

    “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.”

    Marianne Williamson
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