Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Over the weekend Will and I watched the movie "Invictus" based on the life of Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner of 27 years, South African President, and nobel peace prize winner.
The movie shows how Mandela encouraged harmony between all people of South Africa, using the National Rugby team as a catalyst for change in the country.
Mandela was encouraged by the following poem by William Ernest Henley when in prison, he quotes the final few lines of it in the movie.

Though it is a heavy poem, I just love the last two lines!

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.

It is refreshing to remember that we are free to choose for ourselves.

Mandela has called for the rich people to help poor people across the world. What an inspirational leader!
Yet even as I contemplate all the good that has come from this one exceptionally brave man, I wonder at the pain of his personal family life through out his life.
Two of three marriages ended due to his absences and politcal strain. During his lengthy prison term he was estranged from his five children.(his two sons have died before him, one in a car crash at age 23, one of AIDS at age 54). He missed the funeral of his 23 year old son, children's weddings.

I wonder when he looks at his life if he would have made any choices differently?
Do huge successes ease the pain of failure in the home?
Is it worth it?


Katie said...

I wonder if a "public" person can be a successful "private" person?

My thought is that leaders are married to their country or cause and their children are the masses they are serving.

Have you studied more about his family life?

Megan said...

After watching the movie, I read a few articles on his life online.

I think what he did was absolutely worth it for the world and his children were served in that sense and would have benefited too.

But they would have suffered from the lack of a present and active father in their life.