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I am the master of my fate...

17 January 2013, 12:01

I'm sure most of the people who post here have seen Invictus.

Most people have an opinion. Some think Matt Damon sucked as Francois Pienaar (it's a difficult accent!) Some think Morgan Freeman was fabulous. Some thought casting an American as madiba was a cop out.

I cried.

I only watched Invictus about a year ago.

But it took me way back to 1995, and the hope that I think infused SA at that time. We all had a vision of what things could, should or would be.

I found myself wishing that we could have Nelson Mandela as our president for just one more term.

Maybe I was taken in. Maybe I wasn't. We'll never know really, because unless something has happened, we can never be 100% certain.

What did stick with me was the poem. Here it is:

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.

How ironic that a poem from Victorian England could apply so perfectly to South Africa in the 20th and 21st centuries.

For me, however, as much as this poem resonates in it's entirety, the last two lines are most salient.

I am the master of MY fate

I am the captain of MY soul.

Because really, no matter what our hopes and dreams are for our country, surroundings or the world, the only thing we ever truly control is ourselves.

Modern governments are all bloated, impersonal tax machines. Modern countries are all capitalist constructs.

The only thing you ever control or captain is your life, and your soul.

The rainbow nation is dead and buried, alongside apartheid.

Don't weep for either.

See it as an opportunity to captain your soul, and do whatever is right for YOU. Because you really are the only person who cares about you. You make your life. You choose your fate. You captain your soul.

So dream it, and then do it. Because life is short, and waiting for things to happen only makes it shorter. 

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