Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Invictus & Nelson Mandela

Tonight my wife got the movie Invictus and we watched it together.  I heard about this movie when it came out in 2009 and thought it sounded good and that I would like it but it just hasn't risen to the top of things I wanted to do until tonight.  Wow!  It was great.

After the movie the comment to my wife was something like this: "We hear all about people who do terrible things both today in the news and from history but we don't hear much about people who do great things like this".  I had always known that Nelson Mandela was a man who had done great things but this movie really made me more starkly aware of a little of the difficulties he went through.  The movie is well worth seeing. 
Morgan Freeman and Nelson Mandela

Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon do a good job acting in the movie--especially Morgan Freeman.  I have always enjoyed his acting (except in the movie Driving Miss Daisy). 

The title of the movie comes from a poem written by William Ernest Henley.  Henley was a large man with a red beard.  One leg was amputated as a result of "Tuberculosis of the bone".  His other foot was also diseased.  He spent a lot of time in the hospital and struggled to complete school much less work.  After recovering from his disease he married and had a daughter who was very sickly. 

Because of his strength and resiliency, Henley was the pattern that Robert Louis Stevenson used to create his character Long John Silver in Treasure Island.  Coincidentally his daughter Margaret Henley was the inspiration for Wendy in Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.  Margaret died at age 5.  With Henley's familiarity with trouble and limitations it is no surprise that Invictus is his most known and such a powerful work. It seems to mirror his life long efforts to not be cowed by difficulty and circumstance.

The movie is a real treasure and the poem could give one much to contemplate as well. 

See below for a YouTube movie trailer. 

I will say that the soundtrack from the movie is enjoyable as well. 

Seeing this movie makes me wonder, right now, where are the men that are doing these great things that are influencing others for good.  Nelson Mandela did it on a national scale, but can't we all do it in a local scale and impact our neighbors and communities for good?  Who knows, some few of us may have the opportunity to impact a country or maybe the world for good. 

The scary part of the deal is that often men of this stripe must go through "the refiners fire" or in other words be tried and tested by reversals and struggle to build the strength that is needed to impact others for good.  Many of us would run the other way if we knew in advance that was the payment for the strength of character needed to be a power for good in the world. 

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


  1. I remember having to memorize and recite that poem in my AP English class in middle school. The last two lines were the most memorable. Many of us, can easily give into becoming victim to our circumstances. These two lines say otherwise. Essentially, it says you have a choice, you have the power for change. I don't think many of us believe we have the power. And that we are not alone. Through Jesus Christ, we have the power and we can create a mighty change in our lives with Him beside us.

  2. Wow I never really took the time to look into what this movie was about but it looks really cool!!! Thanks for the background and for recommending a good movie :) I really like stories about one person who makes a positive difference in the world :) I would like to be that person!


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