Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela’

Two famous quotes on courage and commitment by Marianne Williamson and William H. Murray

August 14, 2014

Here are two famous quotes I’ve admired that have to do with overcoming our fears, believing in ourselves, and having the courage to commit to our dreams, which then moves Nature to support us in ways we never would have imagined. They seem to be related in an important way — having the confidence and courage to commit to ourselves and fulfill our life’s purpose.

The first quote, having the courage to overcome our fears to become our true self, is from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return To Love. It’s often been mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, who used it in his 1994 Inaugural Speech.

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 won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory that is within us. And as we let our 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.

This second quote, on commitment, was thought to have been written by Goethe, but it is from William H. Murray, author of The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1951).

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

W. H. Murray’s book details the first Scottish expedition in 1950 to the Kumaon range in the Himalayas, between Tibet and western Nepal. The expedition, led by Murray, attempted nine mountains and climbed five, in over 450 miles of mountainous travel. You can read more about this on About.com: German Myth 12: The Famous “Goethe” Quotation.

I just came across a similar post by Joseph Ranseth: 3 of the Greatest Quotes – W.H. Murray, Henry David Thoreau & Marianne Williamson. Ranseth cites the more complete Murray quote in context, where he describes the initial steps he and his party were taking before they actually started the mountain-climbing part of the expedition. Their commitment and follow-through precipitated Providence moving in their favor, which explains how he came to write about the power of commitment and its results. Murray also acknowledged and paraphrased a translation of Goethe’s couplet at the end of his quote.

The article also includes a selection from Thoreau’s Walden, Chapter 18. He also went in the direction of fulfilling his dreams when he chose to live self-sufficiently at Walden Pond. He described his opening up to deeper more universal laws of nature during his two-year seclusion and how that impacted his life. The quote ends with these famous lines: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” But what proceeds them is quite profound. I recommend you read that section of the blog post.

Marianne Williamson’s quote reminds me of Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech he gave at MUM this year where he told students they will only have two choices in life — love or fear. He said, “Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Watch Videos of MUM 2014 Graduation with Jim Carrey and see Some Reports on @JimCarrey’s Commencement Speech at MUM @MaharishiU #mumgraduation.

MUM’s Executive VP Craig Pearson’s visit to South Africa coincided with Nelson Mandela’s funeral

January 13, 2014

Fairfield man guest speaker in South Africa
Craig Pearson’s visit coincided with Nelson Mandela’s funeral
By ANDY HALLMAN | Jan 13, 2014 | The Fairfield Ledger
Photos: Courtesy of CRAIG PEARSON

Courtesy of: CRAIG PEARSON People deliver flowers, candles and cards to the home of former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, after his death Dec. 5. Maharishi University of Management’s executive vice president Craig Pearson was in the country at the time of Mandela’s death and witnessed how the public responded with kind gestures to the man they admired so much.

People deliver flowers, candles and cards to the home of former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, after his death Dec. 5. Maharishi University of Management’s executive vice president Craig Pearson was in the country at the time of Mandela’s death and witnessed how the public responded with kind gestures to the man they admired so much.

Pearson was in South Africa on official business to give the commencement address at Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg. The institute is a sister organization of M.U.M. and the students who graduated from it received M.U.M. degrees. (Courtesy of: CRAIG PEARSON)

Pearson was in South Africa on official business to give the commencement address at Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg. The institute is a sister organization of M.U.M. and the students who graduated from it received M.U.M. degrees.

The students pictured are the first graduating class of Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. Maharishi University of Management’s executive vice president Craig Pearson, far right in second row, delivered the commencement address at the institute’s graduation ceremony in December. (Courtesy of: CRAIG PEARSON)

The students pictured are the first graduating class of Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. Maharishi University of Management’s executive vice president Craig Pearson, far right in second row, delivered the commencement address at the institute’s graduation ceremony in December.

Maharishi University of Management’s executive vice president Craig Pearson received quite the honor in December when he was asked to give a college commencement address in South Africa.

Pearson just so happened to be in Johannesburg when all eyes were on the country after the death of former president Nelson Mandela on Dec. 5. Pearson was able to witness first-hand the outpouring of support and admiration the locals had for the man who symbolized the nation’s struggle against racial separation.

Upon his arrival in the country Dec. 2, the M.U.M. vice president learned he was staying a mere five blocks from Mandela’s home. Pearson planned to walk by the home to take photos, which would not be too difficult since it was normally a quiet street. Within a few days, the street outside Mandela’s home was packed full of people dropping off flowers and singing songs in honor of their fallen leader.

On the morning of Mandela’s death, Pearson opened his laptop to check the news. He saw a headline that read, “The World Mourns,” and he knew right away what it was about.

“When I went down to take photos outside his home, instead of empty streets there were hundreds and hundreds of people,” he said. “People of every age and skin color were standing there. Singing spontaneously came from this epicenter of the crowd and it rang out until everyone joined in.”

Pearson saw a “mountain range of flowers and hand-written notes” placed on the gate outside Mandela’s home.

“Some of the notes were from children who expressed how they felt about their leader with quotes from ‘Madiba,’ as they called him, which is his tribal name,” Pearson said. “He was also referred to as ‘tata,’ which means ‘father.’”

The Associated Press dubbed Mandela a “master of forgiveness” for his insistence on a peaceful cessation to the state-enforced racial separation known as “apartheid.” Mandela brought apartheid to an end after he became president of the country in 1994. Mandela became the country’s first black president after spending 27 years in prison for championing equality against the white-minority government.

“The significance of what he accomplished goes far beyond the borders of the country,” Pearson said.

After the memorial service for Mandela at a large soccer stadium, South Africans approached Pearson to tell him they were touched by the words of President Barack Obama, who spoke during the service.

Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg held an assembly the day after Mandela died. Pearson was asked to speak at the assembly, and he said it was clear from the other speakers how much Mandela meant to everyone.

“It’s extraordinary to see a leader be so beloved by the people these days,” he said. “Mandela was not without opposition for a long time, but once he became president and people saw he was a harmonizing force, then there was full support for him. I told the students they have a leadership role to play by building on his legacy.”

Pearson said when he visited Mandela’s home he was only able to see the roof because the rest was obscured by a wall. He said that was not unusual and that nearly every house in the city has a wall around it topped with barbed wire.

“They’re beautiful walls and the city has beautiful tree-lined streets,” he said. “Johannesburg claims to have the largest man-made forest, and it really is a forest of a city. When you go on a hill you can see all the trees covering the streets.”

Pearson said Mandela lived in a well-off neighborhood but his house did not seem any more extravagant than his neighbors.

Maharishi Institute, where Pearson gave his commencement address, began in 2006 and is affiliated with M.U.M. in Fairfield. In fact, the students at the institute are actually earning degrees from M.U.M.. In some cases their instruction is provided online and in other cases a professor from M.U.M. travels to South Africa to teach a class in person. The 27 students who received their diplomas in December are the first to graduate from the institute. Pearson said the institute hopes to expand in the near future by adding 1,000 students in February.

Despite the end of state-sanctioned racial discrimination in 1994, blacks still lag far behind whites in educational attainment. Pearson said the institute was founded in Johannesburg to correct for the lack of higher education for blacks.

Students at the institute receive 1.5 years of free education and then begin a work-study program. One form work-study takes is to work at a call center in the same building as the school. Students who don’t work in the call center work as janitors or some other occupation that maintains the school.

“People living in the shanties may get an education through high school but their opportunities for college education are pretty miniscule,” he said. “Maharishi Institute takes the students who are ready for college and gives them a college education at no cost. One student told me he might be in a gang if not for the institute.”

Reprinted with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. The Monday Ledger ran this front page story five columns across with all three photos, two from South Africa, plus one of Craig Pearson. Dr. Pearson also spoke at the graduation of several managers at Neotel, one of the top communications companies in South Africa, who received MBA degrees from MUM.

Also see MUM Executive Vice President Comments on Nelson Mandela and more photos at  link.mum.edu/Mandela.


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