As I’ve mentioned before, my New Year’s Resolution is to keep a notebook of speech gold – quotes, jokes, metaphors, stories… anything that might be useful for future speeches. Here is a story I recently stumbled upon and added to my collection.
In 1955, a Buddhist temple in Bangkok was undergoing renovation. A large clay Buddha statue was to be moved to the new Viharn building. It stood 3 meters tall and weighed more than 5.5 tonnes. When they tried to hoist it up, the ropes broke and the statue fell hard on the ground, causing the plaster to crack. Work stopped immediately so an evaluation could be made.
On inspection of the cracks, the monks noticed something shining underneath. With a hammer and chisel, the plaster was carefully chipped away to reveal a Buddha statue made of solid gold! Today, that statue is valued at approximately ฿8.8bn (or $250m).
Historians believe that the statue was covered in plaster 250 years ago to prevent it from being stolen by the invading Burmese army. The monks who covered the statue were likely killed, taking the secret to their graves. And the Golden Buddha was lost for almost 200 years – hidden, beneath a plain hard shell, from a danger that no longer existed.
How many of us are like that statue, going through life afraid to shine and share our true – golden – selves with the world? Or worse, how many of us have forgotten that we are indeed golden? How many of us have allowed ourselves to be conditioned to play small and convinced that we’re not meant for more? However it may have happened, now is the time to away the shell that no longer serves you. Now is the time to show the world how great you are.