Nelson Mandela had this poem written on a piece of paper he kept during his years in the Robben Island prison. The words kept him going when his challenges seemed insurmountable. A poem about the strength of the soul that resides within each and every one of is – something I find truly inspiring.
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.
William Earnest Henley
News headlines everywhere talk about the unrest in the Arab world – and their implications for authoritarian regimes elsewhere in the world. This morning’s news talks of governments trying to stifle opposition through the unprecedented show / use of force. (Saudi sends tanks to riot-hit Bahrain, Oman deploys army units fearing more unrest).
What is really interesting to see is that these protestors are not as easily intimidated by these scare tactics – thanks to the connectedness with people around using cell phones and social networking technologies! (Palestinians try to create Facebook Revolution). These revolutions are not something that were predicted a few weeks ago – but they are bringing an incredible amount of change to a region that has traditionally been under the grip of a few authoritarian leaders.
The prospects for democracy finally seem to be brightening for the Arab world. Very exciting times we live in!
Viva People Power!!