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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Compassion & Forgiveness

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Invictus by William Henley

In the movie Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and directed by Clint Eastwood, Freeman recites the above lines to demonstrate how Mandela was able to give himself encouragement and motivation in those long decades in Robben Island.

But the true beauty of this magnificent film is how it once again underlines the enormity of Mandela's spirit in feeling compassion and being able to forgive all that was done to him after he was released and became South Africa's first black president. He was no only an inspiration and example to his fellow countrymen, but he is and shall remain an example to us all.

Let's attempt to emulate him in order to create in our global community what Mandela intended for South Africa: equality and peace.

The full poem from which the above two lines were taken follows below:

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.

Invictus by William Henley


Photo: Nelson Mandela at the World Cup Rugby Final in Cape Town, June 24, 1995

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