Life is a spiritual event. Those people and things we love inspire us to keep our heads up and our souls unconquerable. William Ernest Henley provided us with wonderful words that echo this way of understanding life and its relationships.
Apparently, this was Nelson Mandela’s favourite poem. When I read it, I understand what made it important in his life and what it reveals about leadership.
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.