His has been an unlikely journey, completely unlike the journey of Mandela from activist to prisoner to president, and yet in some ways similar. In both men, there seems to be a thread of destiny pulling them forward. When other people might have faltered or given up, both of them carried on. I don't know if Clint Eastwood had a personal connection to the titled poem but both men have truly been masters of their fate.
by William Ernest Henley
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.