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Getting There

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The following poem used to hang on the wall of the bedroom I shared with my brother when I was a kid. I didn’t pay much attention to it despite my father reading it a few times to us. However I must have read it myself because without realising it Kipling’s words have been etched into my psyche and they’re just as relevant to me today as they were when they were written nearly a century ago. Technology changes the world but it doesn’t change the human spirit.

‘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 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 wornout 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!

Looks like I made it after all.

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

5 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Have you heard the following poem, per chance?

    The T1000, By Ian Jackson

    If those about you show pity, remorse, or fear,
    and you show none;
    If you are beset by those who can be reasoned with, or bargained with,
    while you cannot;
    If you can meet head-on those about you who simply stop,
    while you absolutely will not, ever;
    Then Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a cyberdyne systems model T1000, my son!

    Reply

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