Invictus, A Movie Review
By John Taylor; 2010 May 25
I recently watched "Invictus," a movie about how the newly elected head of state brought the races together by inspiring the national team to win the Rugby World Cup (http://en.wikipedia/Invictus_(film). In my opinion this is a great film, one of the best ever done. I have been inspired to go back and watch other products of Clint Eastwood's direction that I missed, such as "A Perfect World." Invictus is a better film than the recent blockbuster, Avatar, though not as important. Why? Not because the latter made more money but because of the unique role that Avatar is playing in uniting aboriginal peoples around the world in their own cause.
Normally, barriers of distance, language and culture block them from discerning their own common plight. Anyway, although I was in tears throughout most of Invictus, at times my tears were for the human race itself. What a terrible disadvantage a world government has against nations, who can unite in a sports event in rooting for their own against another nation's gladiators. How can a world government compete against that? Maybe it will someday, if another race or races of intelligent aliens are discovered. Maybe there will be a Galactic Rugby Cup that will unite humans in a common cause someday against a formidable alien rugby team. Whether that would be a good thing, I cannot say. My tears were for the fact that we have no hope to be inspired, it seems, by anything less. Our inspiration slams against borders like invisible force fields.
On the other hand, I am not from South Africa, nor am I Afrikaans or Black, yet I was inspired by the movie. Especially by Nelson Mandela's ability to include both former rivals in a common cause, rugby. This truly was a stroke of management genius. The movie is correct to focus on Mandela's long time in prison. It prepared him to see what none other saw, and it inspired the players to put out the ultimate effort in winning against a "dream team" from New Zealand. It also shows the power of the word, how that "captain of my soul" poem inspired Mandela, and then kept the players going through thick and thin.
In a word, I was inspired by the ability of the right leader at the right time to inspire in a right cause.
This is the sort of indirect inspirational leadership that the UHJ seems want us to be aiming at by applying the Ruhi program. We do not dazzle people with revival meetings or scripture thumping speakers, we take them in and involve them in our core activities, and thereby they enter orbit. As the House said in their latest message,
"Whether the first contact with such newly found friends elicits an invitation for them to enrol in the Baha'i community or to participate in one of its activities is not an overwhelming concern. More important is that every soul feel welcome to join the community in contributing to the betterment of society, commencing a path of service to humanity on which, at the outset or further along, formal enrolment can occur." (UHJ Ridvan Message, 2010, para 4)
The Ruhi program takes an end run around our normal ways of human learning, which are slow and clumsy, and exposes us to the Word Itself. It takes us down the primrose path of faith, and from faith we derive the universal patriotism that the world needs most right now. As Baha'u'llah wrote,
"The understanding of His words and the comprehension of the utterances of the Birds of Heaven are in no wise dependent upon human learning. They depend solely upon purity of heart, chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit. This is evidenced by those who, today, though without a single letter of the accepted standards of learning, are occupying the loftiest seats of knowledge; and the garden of their hearts is adorned, through the showers of divine grace, with the roses of wisdom and the tulips of understanding. Well is it with the sincere in heart for their share of the light of a mighty Day!" (Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 210-211)