Invictus. Mandela. Inspiration.

“I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul … I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul” William Earnest Henley 

As a biographical drama, “Invictus” is based on the life of Nelson Mandela, one of the key freedom-fighters in the world. Telling the story of a former prisoner becoming the president of South- Africa, the film draws attention to the importance of uniting a people by giving them a common goal. In order to reach those goals, inspiration is crucial, because in hard times it can mean the difference between success and failure.

Inspiration can be found everywhere, whether it is person or a poem, it can make a huge difference when it comes to changing unfortunate situations. For instance, Mandela, and the two other former freedom- fighters Gandhi and Martin Luther King, have been great sources of inspiration, not only in their own countries, but across the globe. That might be because they went to extreme lengths to help their countries, yet not in an improper way. When people are suffering under oppression and experiences racism, they often unite against the enemy. Therefore, it is possible for a strong and self-sacrificing leader to be a source of inspiration. Mandela, as the significant person he was, chose to unite the people of South Africa around rugby

In fact, the culture of sports has the power to either unite or divide people. It can divide a country into groups, because people tend to support one team, and as a consequence dislike the opponent. However, the possibility of uniting a people, or a country, is very much present in sports. That is because they get a common opponent to unite against, strengthening their national feeling. In the film “Invictus” we see that Mandela is passionate about rugby, and therefore uses a lot of his time to inspire the team. By being himself, a great source of inspiration, he brings out something new in the team-captain, helping the team to eventually win the world cup. Therefore, it is possible to say that reaching a common goal, and hopefully uniting a people, can only be done when inspired.

However, there are other sources of inspiration than people. Literature and poems are easily relatable, and can motivate people to perform better. For example, the poem “Invictus” written by William Earnest Henley, affected Mandela on a high level. He had the poem written on a scrap of paper in his prison cell while he was incarcerated. One of the reasons for why the poem appealed to him might be that it reminded him that it would take more than jail to break him. No matter what the guards, or time, did to him, he was still the captain of his soul, he was unconquerable. He managed to relate to the poem and therefore he drew inspiration from the words.

To conclude, “Invictus” is a memorable film, focusing on the importance of inspiration and common goals when uniting a people. However, it is not only in situations concerning a country it is important to be motivated. Finding inspiration in everyday- life is just as significant. Whether it is literature, people, or nature that makes you want to do better, it can make a big difference for you as an individual and consequently for the people around you. Every great movement starts with an inspired person.

Ernest Henley

Nelson Mandela

What inspires you?

–          Kristin

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8 thoughts on “Invictus. Mandela. Inspiration.

  1. Wow. Very inspirational. I want to see the movie now. What inspires me? My religion, quotes, my dad, and a church member that passed away.

    1. Hi, Kendall, thank you! You should definitely see the movie, it’s so worth it. It is good to hear that you find inspiration in your religion and daily life 🙂 For me at least, it makes the everyday life easier.

  2. seems like a very interesting movie. i want to see it. u wrote this very well, it was almost inspiring. i never thought about inspiration the way you explained it.

    1. Hello! The movie is very inspiring, especially if you have inspiration as a theme in the back of your mind whilst seeing it. (Worked for me at least) Thank you so much, it is good to hear that I can make people think differently about subjects that I am passionate about 🙂

  3. Wow you made me have a tatal different understanding of the word inspiration! I love how detailed and how specific you are. Good job, the things or people that inspire me are my family and, friends and they do because they are always there to push me forward when I am falling behind.

    1. Hi again, Jocelyn! Thank you, I wanted to make people think a bit differently about inspiration, so it’s nice to hear that it worked. It is good that you are inspired by the people around you, they are so important in life, because they support you, no matter what.

  4. Quite an interesting conversation going on here about inspiration. I like how you use the poem to make your points. I think it is an important part of this movie and Mandela’s story! I think it is great that you take the time to answer all your comments Kristin!

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