I just, finally, managed to see Invictus which is one movie I really wanted to see. I think I have never been so moved by a film as much as I was by this film. I was on the way to Greece in a plane where the sound was terrible the screen a postage stamp and the distractions endless and in spite of all that Invictus drew me in like no other film.
Community – I am struck by how powerfully needful we are of this. What is it – Unity in Community? The word means – in unity. Millions of South Africans black and white coming together to celebrate a rugby team. A team playing as a cohesive group and coming together to perform in excellence. Is there any need as a human greater than this need to belong? Perhaps a greater need than food, water or even sex is our need to belong and to be a part of something greater than ourselves. There is where our truth lies, this is the essence of our truth, our core nature – we are one.
I delighted in “on the money” cheesy moments of the film where a young black boy sneaks into the hearts of the white taxi drivers just to listen to the world cup game. I revel and thrill to the powerful Maori war dance which is led by a white New Zealander and strikes terror into the opponent Spring Bok team. I loved the white Afrikaner presidential security guard teaching his disinterested black politico counterpart about rugby until together they rejoice in a remarkable Spring Bok – no – a remarkable South African win of the World Cup.
I hate to watch sports and I think it is a waste of time and yet here is a song to unity in community teamwork. Like another film of extraordinary compassion and grace, The Blind Side; Invictus touches our core humanity, it highlights how much we need each other regardless of race, creed, ideologies or location, we need to support, love and respect each other in order to shine and express our excellent individual self. These two films are harbingers of heaven, they are songs of unity that invite us to examine our supernature the essential self of us that is beyond individual but belongs to the greater whole of humanity.
I have always said if a child is playing with a knife don’t just snatch it away from them but substitute it with a very attractive toy – the knife will be forgotten in a flash. Nelson Mandela did that with rugby. By focussing the entire country, blacks and whites on the game he created a unity that could never come from any political maneuvers.
I think my favorite line in the film is “Soccer is a gentleman’s game played by houligans – Rugby is a houligan’s game played by gentlemen.” To me that says it all – there are no boundaries, no rules except those that we make for ourselves and then unthinkingly abide by. I yearn, ache for the unconditional family of man, for unity in community, for unyielding grace and fierce respect to each other. For the most part the family man functions with elegance and unity if it didn’t there could never be so many of us. But unfortunately many abberant conflicts suck all the oxygen out of our general harmony. Reframing the focus like Nelson Mandela did is a brilliant move, reminding us of this brilliance with Clint Eastwood’s film Invictus is another brilliant move. I watched four other films on my way to and from Greece, it’s a long flight, and the rest of them were insipid compared to the rich relevance of Invictus.
Invictus shows us that we can ‘play’ on opposite teams to test our prowess, push and jostle each other but then we go home as equals, as lovers of one game, residents in the same life that we share together as one in many forms. Today I am on top tomorrow you wear the crown, today I am white in another life black, what’s the difference? The energy of unity is extraordinary, we can do anything together. Together we transcend the stars. Not to drag anyone down, that is never my goal here, but look for a moment what happens with partisanship – division. Even the best organization, the most powerful group will fail when undermined by partisanship. We do ourselves disservice when we withhold full authorization to those we put in power by that we withhold our own power.
Unity is our essential nature. It is a societal norm that continues to inspire and draw people together. We form groups in national, cultural, spiritual, artistic, intellectual and generational tribes. We revel in those associations, identify ourselves by our tribe. But that is not all that we are, our transcendent energetic being includes all those and more. You are all and much more.