The timeless profound poem "IF"

by caliber 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • caliber

    This poem is over 100 years old and yet is as fresh as todays newspaper in

    its vital message for us to contemplate. It contains situational guidelines

    for the game of life. It is filled with idealism but what matters is in the

    striving to reach these goals, thus the title "IF" because in our imperfect

    state striving is the best we can do.

    All the books about self confidence, success, life balancing, personality

    development are encapsulated within the thoughts this poem. It is a vision

    of worthy life; how to play by the rules of human nature for success.

    Some lessons



    positive attitude

    lessoning the negatives

    will power


    self reliance

    humble not too wise

    transcending over ego

    harm no one

    greatest happiness- give much ask for nothing

    Honorable - dignified

    never arrogant



    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 imposter's justthe 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 breath 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

    I believe a whole book could be written based on these condensed words of wisdom.

    I welcome your thoughts and expressions regarding this poem.


  • caliber

    The mark of genius is to deal with opposites in the "real world" of illusions------ to balance life !



    I'm going to print that and send it to my son. I haven't read it for years. Thank you.

  • llbh

    Thanks Caliber and for the explanation

    We need to be positive and aware. I have just rea the thread By Narkissos and it is an interesting Juxtaposition


  • changeling

    Beautiful! I quite agree.


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