"IF" by Rudyard Kipling
When I was a little girl mummy stuck this wonderful poem to the back of the toilet door. There was so much to learn alongside "IF" . In no time at all I could recite Rudyard Kipling's masterpiece and so much more. Most importantly I had grown to love it. It seems that for me, "IF" became a powerful measure of character and a barometer by which to live my life. It resonates with me still. It keeps me inspired when I start to falter. This was the first real, adult poem I learned. It fostered in me a love of Poetry, just as mummy wanted and this was only the beginning.
From a very young age, I have called 'if' the biggest, little word in the dictionary. It is such a tiny yet powerful and important word and not to be overlooked.
I share this Poem in the hope that it might inspire you as well.
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.
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!
listen to the poem