Normally I’d question the desire of a player who needs to get a 139-word Nelson Mandela speech tattooed on his leg. Really? You can’t get up for a game without having to rely on the words of a man who spent 27 years in prison fighting for more important things than a League Two soccer team?
Even worse, Rotherham United’s Alex Rhodes‘ tattoo, which supposedly quotes Mandela’s inauguration speech, was never actually said by the former South African President. I know the first thing anyone should do when getting a text tattoo is check the spelling, but it’s also important to do your sourcing. Hey, at least it’s spelled right?
Rhodes, however, is blissfully unaware of this information.
“I had a few knock-backs when I was younger, when people were telling me I was too small, but I’ve always been determined to prove them wrong and I just feel this quotation is appropriate for me and my life,” said Rhodes.
The 139-word passage was written by an American peace activist, Marianne Williamson, and it is wrongly attributed to Mandela in his speech when he became president of South Africa 14 years ago.
If you need a little Marianne Williamson inspiration of your own, here’s the speech. You’d better be inspired; it took 5 hours to be tattooed on a fourth-rate English soccer player.
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 doesn’t serve the world. There’s 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’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.