“If-” An Inspiration

I’ve shared this poem by Rudyard Kipling, originally published in 1910 with you before.  It’s not only one of my favorites; it is worthy of sharing again as I believe “If-” says it all!  


If you can keep your head when all about you;
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, nor 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 impostors 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 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 heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
except the Will which 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!

– Rudyard Kipling

My Personal Challenge

I keep this poem close and read it often.  For me, it’s a reminder of basic truths. 

I personally take the time to bless a young man at least once a day. 

Do you?  Do you tell your son he’s done something good or simply that he’s loved and you’re glad he’s your son?

Robert Bly, author of “Iron John” and “The Sibling Society” said it like this “We do our young men a disservice by not blessing them.  So each of us young or old needs to bless a younger man each day.” 

Be a mentor to a young man who doesn’t have a role model in his life.  Or for that matter, a boy can never have too many so BE A MENTOR.  Together we can make a difference.

Do you like this poem by Rudyard Kipling as much as I do?  Share your comments with me.




  1. Joaquin Albert on June 26, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    This poem If, is pure jnspiration. Thank you for sharing. For me, it came at a most necessary time. As I walk into the courtroom tomorrow to show cause for parental gatekeeping for my son from a manipulating force, I will lean on the inspiration you have helped provide. Thank you – JJA

    • Clayton Lessor on June 27, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Glad “If-” provided what you need, keep those words close. I wish you the best in what sounds like a tough time.
      Dr. Clay

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