Today marks 20 years since Nelson Mandela was released from prison. I still live in awe of this amazing man. Who else could serve 27 long years in prison only to come out preaching forgiveness and reconciliation with the idiots that put him there? We really all need to learn from his life.. to take just one aspect of his personality and aspire to be more like that. Without him, South Africa would still be a mess. Though I still see the scars left over from years of apartheid, Madiba made this country what is is today. If only the other presidents in this world would follow his lead...
May we all learn to be more patient, forgiving, kind and strong. Many of you will have (hopefully) seen the incredible movie based on this man's rule and the Spingboks Rugby Team (Invictus). The following poem is something Mandela often recited in prison and taught other prisoners the 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.
William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)