I’m Scott M. Graves and I am the executive director of the Wachusett Business Incubator. Our team, which is made up of our staff, our mentors and our board of directors are, like you a part of this region. In a deeper sense we are a part of our global community of humans and other sentient beings. Like you all at home, we’re all thinking about what just happened, what we are to do about it, and what comes next.
In the weeks and months ahead I hope to share thoughts with you. I hope to share perspective with you. I hope to empower my neighbors by playing my small part in all this. Not because we have all the answers here, but because we a part of you just as you are a part of us.
In the decades I spent as a performing artist I had the privilege of making music with many extraordinary human beings. Many of those players fought in the war or in Korea. Or they participated in the civil rights movement. They lived Jim Crow, they lived in many ways, a totally inconceivable reality to ours. Those moments forced many of them to rise to the occasion. And by all measure, from the stories they imparted on me, rise they did in magnificent ways.
Now it appears to be our turn. So it is I charge you, my friends and neighbors just as I charge myself. What is it we will do, in the here and now that will make the inconceivable do-able.
In June 1994 Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the president of a newly re-constituted Republic of South Africa. Now his is an extraordinary story. I watched as a teenager that morning as he made his speech to his people and to the world. It was by all measure a remarkable speech. One moment really stood out for me and I think it is appropriate to leave you with his words, taken from the lips of another remarkable human, the US Civil Rights leader Maryanne Williamson,”
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 frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’ 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 people won’t feel insecure around you. 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 all of us. And when we let our own 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.”