Invictus, in latin means “undefeated” or “unconquered”, is a word not familiar to me until I saw the film. An inspirational film about a game and a president who moved a nation. The movie was based on true events of President Mandela of South Africa, played by actor Morgan Freeman, and his influence on the team Springboks in the game of Rugby and the team captain, played by Matt Damon.
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.
This poem is about courage in the face of death, and holding on to one’s own dignity despite the indignities life places before us. Although at the end of the poem the writer states that he accepts no master but himself. It could mean he bows to no authority, he is his own judge. But we do believe in an Almighty Being above us so we can take the poem in a different interpretation and let it instigate is us encouragement and determination against the trials and battles we are facing, no matter what it is.
Sometimes the greatest enemy you and I can ever face is ourselves, that man in the mirror.