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IF !!

by Vidya Sury July 18, 2009 2 comments

Whenever I feel a little low, I read something inspirational – and invariably I try and go back to something that really pepped me up when I was a teenager. Why? Simply because I can always think of something during that time and laugh my head off. It takes me off into a series of nostalgic ‘mood uppers’ and it is almost impossible to wipe that grin off my face – throughout the day. It is worth it.

This time I suddenly recalled a lovely poem our English Teacher at Mount Mary High School, Mumbai, took us through back in Class VI (ok..I was NOT a teenager then :-D) – this teacher enjoyed completing the syllabus – and introduced some really lovely poems and stories to us – rather than kill time boring us to death with stuff like revision, God bless him. Among other educative stuff, here is a poem he introduced to us ten-year olds – and got that adrenalin nicely rushing. I simply cannot forget it – greatly enhanced by the mood of that moment, with 40-odd girls looking up at the teacher – in rapturous attention – an almost impossible feat!


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 imposters 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!

by Rudyard Kipling

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Sumit July 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I normally don’t like Kipling too much, but that poem is an exception, Vidya. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

Vidya Sury July 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm

@ Sumit – same here 🙂


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