Saturday, June 19, 2010
I just saw the movie Invictus. The name is Latin for "unconquered, unconquerable, undefeated" and is the title of the very inspiring poem that helped Nelson Mandela survive 30 years of imprisonment by the apartheid regime in South Africa. The movie is very inspiring also.
I knew that Nelson Mandela was a remarkable man, but after seeing this movie I realize that he is not only an amazing statesman but also an incredible human being.
For me, one line in particular from the movie sums up Nelson Mandela: The night after visiting the prison where Mandela was held for 30 years and seeing the tiny cell he lived in and the yard where he did hard labor, the captain of the South African Rugby Team is staring out of his hotel window when his wife asks him what he is thinking about and he says, "I was thinking how a man could spend thirty years in prison, and come out and forgive the men who did it to him..."
I highly recommend the movie.
Oh, and the poem, Invictus:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley 1849 - 1902