Nelson Mandela, the legendary South African anti-apartheid activist, recited Invictus (Latin for “unconquered”), the iconic poem written in 1875 by the english Poet William Ernest Henley to empower all his fellow prisoners with its message of personal mastery (self-mastery).
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods maybe
For my unconguerable 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.