Your Playing Small Does Not Serve the World


There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people do not feel insecure around you…

- Marianne Williamson

It has recently come to my attention that through my choice to go ‘learn myself something’ at university this has alienated me from certain circles, friendship groups and associates. I somehow got put on a kind of a pedestal and seen, threateningly, as a species from another world. Little eyes observed and analysed me from the shadows and I almost felt guilty for daring to try and better myself. Almost.

I was reminded of that African proverb – It you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. It momentarily seemed a selfish and indulgent choice, to go and study and make particular life choices. I have alienated my peers and have chosen a lonely road. People don’t ’know’ me anymore. I asked myself why I was even doing this anyway. It is hard work, it takes focus, discipline and motivation. Why would you do that when you could just be down at the pub like everyone else?

Then, I was comforted by the words of Marianne Williamson that echoed in my mind as she spoke of our greatest fear.

[Side note: It is important to add at this conjuncture and make it clear that I still know absolutely NOTHING! Of all the things I have learnt in my past two years studying, I am still relatively ignorant. For all the knowledge that there is to know of and about the world, I know but a tiny fraction that is, in the great scheme of things, nada. Diddily squad. Nil Pois. But somehow this is the most exciting thing about it because in spite of this, there is no doubt I know a hell of a lot more than I did before. This makes me smile.]

So, back to it. To those friends and associates who feel as though they can’t quite place me, can’t quite work out where I am at, I would only reverse this focus of attention and suggest that you divert it to yourself. Maybe that feeling of insecurity is your own spirit urging YOU to follow a path that you’ve always wanted to but never dared for fear of failure or fear of alienating yourself from the accepted projections that have been readily received by your peers and your family.

The irony is that I still don’t know quite where I fit in in this world. I don’t belong with geeks and the real heavy weight intellectuals and I don’t quite fit in with the crowd that like the status quo, that don’t like change, that take the slow road to self-development. I have chosen a lonely road to self-discovery and boy, am I learning a lot.