Saturday, October 23, 2010

Invictus

While I was enjoying Sex and the City 2 and Letters to Juliet, DH watched Invictus (2009 film), directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The way DH retold the story struck a chord.

It's a biographical drama that depicts how Nelson Mandela used rugby to unite black and white South Africans following the dismantling of the apartheid. What moved me the most was that not only Nelson Mandela forgave the people who put him in jail for 27 years, but he was ready to work with them for the country's collective accomplishment. During his time spent in jail, he read, studied, and tried to understand white Africans instead of being hostile towards them.

Understanding individuals who come from a different culture is the first step towards living in unity among different races. It can also be applied to as close as a friend's family background. DH said, "The bigger person will always win at the end." I'll keep that in mind.

Back to the topic, Invictus by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) is the beautiful and powerful poem that inspired Nelson Mandela during his time in prison.

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.

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