August 3, 2011 ~ image by Mr. Brainwash
Today is President Obama's birthday. He is my hero and I am going to see him tonight along with Herbie Hancock, OK Go, and Jennifer Hudson at the Aragon Ballroom, just a stones throw from home. It was disappointing to wake up to the morning newspaper headlines saying he has suffered politically from the financial fiasco in Washington. Running this country with so many fundamentalists is no easy task. Change is not easy and compromise a challenge.
I watched the movie Invictus this past weekend and it was truly inspiring. After 27 years in jail, Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is released in 1990. His immediate challenge is "balancing black aspirations with white fears", as racial tensions from the apartheid era have not completely disappeared. The title of the movie comes from a poem by William Ernest Henley, that was the spiritual cornerstone and support of Nelson Mandela's 27 year imprisonment.
"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 punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
I couldn't help but see the parallels between what happened in South Africa and the divide that is deepening in this country.
Fear and misunderstand abound.
We must try to understand the other side, and at times compromise in an attempt to create wholeness.