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. (Henley)
Throughout my twenty-seven year imprisonment, I would recite this poem (“Invictus”) to myself and draw inspiration from it in times when my future appeared very destitute (Champion). “Invictus” guided me through one of the most difficult eras of my life. It pacified my doubts and fears during my long wait to be released from prison and eventual ascent to power and prominence. From these experiences, I have learned much about the world. In this manuscript, I would like to communicate the ideals and beliefs that have spoken strongest to me, and I will tell you about the events that have taught me the most over the course of my lifetime. I wish to teach my audience the lessons learned from my hardships as well as my lasting impressions regarding several key topics. It is vital for the new generation to recycle the knowledge of the old in order for society to progress, and that is why I find it important to impart my wisdom to an audience. I hope that the readers will truly understand who I am and what I stand for as a person based on the content described in this document. I especially pray that the readers begin to formulate their own opinions ...
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...that you learned about my views on civil rights, education, and government. While it is impossible for the readers to experience the same hardships that I have undergone throughout my life, it is my desire that the audience can at least learn from what I have endured and then form their own opinions on my core values. I feel that the keys to domestic harmony are the forgiveness and respect of others, the appreciation of education and its various forms, and the democratic involvement of all people and their beliefs. In times of great crisis, people look for great leaders. These great leaders look for great inspiration. Whether it be a poem, lyric, or passage, one needs to find that inspiration and latch onto it in times of desperation, for it will make one all the better because of it. It may lead that person to do great things, lead nations, or save the world.
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