Today I am inspired by a man who spent almost 30 years in prison and then became a peaceful world leader. A man who embraced the country that once despised him and set about healing the wrongs of the past with love and understanding. A man who believed in forgiveness instead of revenge.
This is Nelson Mandela.
Last night I went to see Invictus, the film by Clint Eastwood about Mandela's vision to unite his country using rugby. It's an incredibly uplifting story, all the more so because it's true.
"Invictus" means inconquerable (I had to look it up) and it is the title of the poem that inspired Mandela to move forward, to never give up, to see the positive in the negative and to overcome his situation while in prison.
Here it is:
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)
Inspiring Message of the Day: I believe in the power of forgiveness. It can change a man, his country and it can change the world. I will practice forgiveness in my own life knowing it is the most radical and most effective approach to healing myself and our planet.