Ingrid Betancourt was a Columbian presidential candidate when she was captured by guerrillas and held in the jungle for over six years. ‘Even Silence has an End’ is her extraordinary account of this captivity.
In a TED talk given three years ago Betancourt movingly talks about the relationship between fear and religious faith.
‘Faith isn’t rational or emotional it is an exercise of the will – the discipline of the will. It’s what allows us to transform everything that we are, our weaknesses, our frailties into strength and power. It’s really a transformation. It’s what gives us the strength to stand up in the face of fear and to look beyond it. We all need to connect with that strength we have inside of us – for the time when there’s a storm raging around our boat.’
‘Fear is part of the human condition as well as being necessary for survival. But above all it is the guide by which each of us builds our identity, our personality. It was my decision what to do with that fear … you can survive crawling along fearful but you can also rise above the fear, rise up spread your wings and soar, fly high, high, high, high until you reach the stars where all of us want to go.’
She describes when the Columbian army rescued her and fourteen other hostages:
‘The shriek that came out of all of us when we regained our freedom continues to vibrate in me to this day’.