“If” you have been subscribed to my newsletter since 2015, you’ve read this before! If not, you’re in for a treat. It’s time for me to share again as it remains one of my favorite poems. Originally published in 1910 by Rudyard Kipling, it’s still very relevant today. Enjoy!
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
Extending You This Challenge
I make it a priority to personally take time to bless a young man at least once every day.
I challenge you to do the same. Tell your son you’re proud of him when he does something good; or simply that he’s loved and you’re glad he’s your son?
Author Robert Bly 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.”
Do you know a young man who doesn’t have a role model in his life? Have you considered how much it would mean for him to hear “he’s a fine young man?” I have, and it matters; together let’s make a difference.
Did you enjoy this poem by Rudyard Kipling as much as I do? Share your comments with me.