Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Fear and Our Hope

I recently watched the movie "Invictus" starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon and it was phenomenal. It told the true story of the Springbok South African rugby team and their amazing World Cup victory, helped along by the personal interest of President Nelson Mandela and his visionary leadership. It made me think of this quote I picked up a couple years ago from the speech Nelson Mandela gave at his inauguration.

Our Fear

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

The movie also centered on the poem "Invictus," for which the movie was named, and I thought that would be worth reposting here as well. It's not hard to imagine a work like this sustaining someone through trials, as it did for Nelson Mandela during his 30 year imprisonment. Works like this are the reason I write.


by:William Ernest Henley

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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