If Then

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.

-Rudyard Kipling

When I was briefly researching the word “if” for this post I came across the above poem. I think much of it rings true today. I like what it says about facing loss, believing in yourself, and not giving way to negative emotions. Because there is so much negativity in the world right now. Probably always has been but I am alive and living in this time. The poem says to stick to your values of honesty and benevolence toward others. It is hard to not respond to acts of hatred and violence without wanting to respond with the same. It takes strength and courage to hold to what we feel is right and not get swept up in the hate. If we can do this, then there may be hope for the world.

This post is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Copy of If via Wikipedia.

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15 thoughts on “If Then

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It does hold us to some pretty high standards. Especially the part about our sinews to keep going after we had gone..I think that it was it says. But I think it also says to take the high road in our dealings with others. I really like that idea. 🙂


  1. JoAnna

    I’ve loved that poem since I was a young teen. Glad you used it! When I was an older teen or in my twenties, I saw another version in a gift store, called “If For Girls.” It was all sugar and spice and sacrifice. I wanted to throw it at somebody. The original “If” works just fine for everybody.

    Liked by 1 person



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