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An excerpt from a inspirational speech


by Carol Middleton 2001

Has anyone here moved house in the past year? Well you know that moving house is one of the most stressful experiences in life – it’s up there in the top 10 behind death, divorce and, of course, public speaking!

I have just moved house and it was stressful, but it was worth it!  Because I was moving from a prison to a palace. It wasn’t far to move, but it was a quantum leap from a dark and oppressive flat with its gloomy memories to a charming house, set among camellia trees and rhododendron bushes. But, - big mistake - I took my baggage with me. I carefully packed my prison bars. But at last a ray of light is shining into my life.

I was unpacking boxes and sifting through the mountain of papers I have hoarded over the years, when one piece of paper fell to the floor. It still had the blu-tack on the back that I had used to stick it up on the wall of my old flat. It was Nelson Mandela’s first speech as President of South Africa and the half-forgotten words struck home to my heart like an electric shock.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” A great man talking about greatness. A great man who knew all about fear, after spending 27 years in a South African gaol. A great man speaking to me, Carol  Middleton….

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© copyright 2003

Carol Middleton