Poetry, “IF”…How to be a good human being

About the poem

The poem ‘If’ was written by the India-born British Nobel laureate poet Rudyard Kipling. It is a poem to instill teaching and an inspiration to manage with different situations in life, much like the COVID pandemic and the harsh realities of daily living. A didactic poem, this also identities how to be a good human being.

A poem 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!

Inspired by the Musgrave Methodist Church…and Kerry Catalano.

19 thoughts on “Poetry, “IF”…How to be a good human being

  1. Pingback: Poetry, “IF”…How to be a good human being | Ace Caring & Sharing NewsDesk

  2. A beautiful poem by Rudyard Kipling: rich in wisdom born of life’s experiences. An excellent choice for these harsh and uncertain times. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Hope that you and your family are holding on firmly in the midst of this global pandemic ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Poetry, “IF”…How to be a good human being – The Fractured Rock

  4. This is a very good choice of words. Kipling is one of the best when learning realism was essential. In his reference to “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same.” holds true the premise that all is unreal to be related to that which is real and can not be seen. Live by this poem and peace will be found. Love and Blessing to you and yours.


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