Just as much as we see in others we have in ourselves. William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt was an English writer, remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, and as a grammarianand philosopher. He is now considered one of the great critics and essayistsof the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell, but his work is currently little-read and mostly out of print. During his lifetime he befriended many people who are now part of the 19th-century literary canon, including Charles and Mary Lamb, Stendhal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.
I remember it like yesterday even though it was some 42 years ago. I was sitting in a Sociology class and with every question the Professor asked, I imagined a reply but never raised my hand, for fear of sounding stupid. My fear of speaking in public and being vulnerable to criticism was alarming up to that point in my life. Through the years, I would hear person after person say what I was thinking and be praised for their insightful and thoughtful comments and yet I could and would not raise my hand.
That day, when the Professor asked whatever question it was and I formulated my reply and kept my hands at my side, a classmate raised their hand and gave a reply that the Professor exclaimed was “brilliant.” We all have spiritual awakenings when we become sick and tired of whatever and that was mine. From that moment on until today, I stopped caring what you thought of what I had to say and started caring about what I thought about what I had to say and speak I have.
Up to that moment I always saw things in others and little in myself. I still see much in and learn much from others, but today I see much in me and know that others learn from me as well as me from them.
My prayer for you today is that you see how much you have in you and raise your hand to declare it to all within earshot. You need to know how much you have and we need to learn from you.
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