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For Father’s Day last weekend, my dad and I watched the movie, Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. This amazing movie is about the life of Nelson Mandela and his involvement with the South African Rugby Team during the 1995 World Cup. Dad and I both almost cried several times while watching it, not because it was sad, but because it was so inspiring. With a name that means “unconquered” in Latin, Invictus is truly one of those life-changing movies that spoke to me.

What moved me so much about this film was the poem that embodies its message. The poem itself is titled, Invictus, and was written by William Ernest Henley. It is the actual poem that helped Nelson Mandela keep going during his imprisonment when everything in life told him to give-up. This poem has become my inspiration and my mantra, and I really feel that it speaks for itself. It is a must-read for everyone, especially those who are in the midst of the fight for their lives.

“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.”