An excerpt from a inspirational speech
LIVING BEHIND BARS
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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