If, by Rudyard Kipling

“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 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 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!”

This poem is about a father guiding his son. It is advice from a time when a father figure was required in every house, a time when men and women took pride in fulfilling their gender roles and created a strong foundation for their families and societies, a time when the vast majority of our children were raised by two biological parents, a time when people did not identify with their gender like a nationalist identify with his tribe. The past was not perfect or ideal, but the past had values which created and sustained civilizations for thousands of years. If we want to be free of the newly made up lies and social theories of elite ivy-league universities, we need to turn to the old values. They have many things to teach us about ourselves, and they were validated by time, not the modern values of our social elite.

(For the new reader, here is a link to the latest draft (pdf, 14/Jun/2012) of the   Guide for a Young Patriarch which is based on the posts made in this blog and attempts to organize them into a consistent message.)

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One Response to If, by Rudyard Kipling

  1. This is one of my favourite poems.

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