Created me to be the captain of my soul

Nelson Mandela says...

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,

but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,

gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give

other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.

I have walked that long road to freedom.

I have tried not to falter;

I have made missteps along the way.

But I have discovered the secret

that, after climbing a great hill,

one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

I have taken a moment here to rest,

to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me,

to look back on the distance I have come.

But I can only rest for a moment,

for with freedom comes responsibilities,

and I dare not linger,

for my long walk is not ended.

If you talk to a man

in a language he understands,

that goes to his head.

If you talk to him

in his own language,

that goes to his heart.

Let freedom reign.

The sun never set

on so glorious a human achievement.

Let there be work,

bread, water and salt

for all.

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere,

and many of us will have to pass

through the valley of the shadow of death

again and again

before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.

I am not a saint,

unless you think of a saint

as a sinner who keeps on trying.

There is nothing like returning

to a place that remains unchanged

to find the ways

in which you yourself have altered.

Money won't create success,

the freedom to make it will.

Only free men can negotiate;

prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Your freedom and mine

cannot be separated.

The greatest glory in living

lies not in never falling,

but in rising every time we fall.

There can be no keener revelation

of a society's soul

than the way in which it treats its children.

We must use time wisely

and forever realize

that the time is always ripe

to do right.

A good head and a good heart

are always a formidable combination.

If there are dreams

about a beautiful South Africa,

there are also roads

that lead to their goal.

Two of these roads

could be named Goodness

and Forgiveness.

When the water starts boiling

it is foolish to turn off the heat.

To be free

is not merely to cast off one's chains,

but to live in a way

that respects and enhances

the freedom of others.


Here is the poem Mandela found to be such a source of strength.


–by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever God there 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 or 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.


  1. Invictus has always remained one of my favourite poems too.

    Nice template. In fact I had considered this one seriously before finally opting for my present one.


  2. Ah Preeti thanks for the comments and visit. I got to know you through Farheen of "Daily jottings".


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