Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet, don't look too good, not talk too wise:
If you can dream, and not make dreams your master,
If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your nerve and heart and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will that says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
The Poet: Rudyard Kipling: (1865 -1936)
Rudyard Kipling was born in India, and much of his work was inspired by his association with the sub continent. 'The Jungle Book' was one of his most popular novels, and the movies broke all records in viewership. Other works like 'Kim', and poems like 'Gunga Din', 'Mandalay' and 'The White Man's Burden' have their admirers as well.
In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and was considered one of the most renowned writers in the UK in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His short stories are also considered rather remarkable.
The poem 'If' is replete with sound advice and inspiration on how to live life and face its challenges. Khushwant Singh called the poem "the essence of the message of the Gita in English".
In a nutshell, the poem starts with a father giving his son an outline of good behaviour so that he can fit into society. He tells him to keep his cool, and to not respond to lies or hatred. He needs to live life with equanimity, and treat triumph and disaster with ease, and not respond to flattery. He should have the strength of mind to pick up the pieces of a broken life, when required, and rebuild it.
It is equally vital to keep his nerve when he risks his winnings on one toss, and stay calm, no matter what. Finally, he needs to treat all men, whether common or blue-blooded with courtesy and never get too close to friends or foes.
If he can do all this gracefully, he will 'be a Man'.
This poem has kindled the imagination of people across the world, and is oft-quoted by those wanting to emphasize on how to live a good and dignified life.
This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2ZChallenge2021