Today, to commemorate her first global tour ever since the end of her 15-year house arrest, we’re dedicating this post to Aung San Suu Kyi, not the politician nor the electoral candidate of Burma, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist who has always stood bravely by the freedom of her people and the importance of eliminating fear and corruption.
But instead of delving into her past and her successes, we’d like to share with you two life lessons we extracted from her collection of inspiring speeches:
“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear”
This is taken from her famous Freedom From Fear speech in 1990. Aung San Suu Kyi has always considered fear to be the root of corruption, not power. “You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right,” she added in the same speech.
So be it a fear of failure, a fear of love or a fear of power; to attain freedom, you must first eliminate the fear that is corrupting you from your true potential, and who knows – even your destiny.
“If you’re feeling helpless, help someone. ”
In our minds, this highlights two values we’ve conveyed through our previous posts: the value of giving, and the sense of empowerment achieved through helping others.
Coming from an activist who still managed to reach out to her people and the world despite being oppressed and detained in her own home, this is a quote worth pondering. Helplessness, at times, is simply a battle within ourselves, and a reminder that perhaps the solution is not through solving our personal dilemma, but through aiding others.
We celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi’s enduring battle for freedom and her courage to continue her vision of a peaceful and non-violent Burma and world, and hope that you are able to draw great lessons from her story for your life as we did for ours.
The newly released film, The Lady, beautifully encapsulates her journey and is elegantly portrayed by actress Michelle Yeoh. Watch the trailer below for a glimpse into Aung San Suu Kyi’s life.
We also found this intriguing interview with renowned portrait photographer Platon Antoniou, who shared his memorable but risky encounter with the Lady for her Time magazine feature back in 2010, before she was freed of her imprisonment. This will give you a better idea of the affect Aung San Suu Kyi has on people just with her presence alone :)