If

Lately, as I broaden the scope of the my knowledge, I have been reading Rudyard Kipling’s poems. There is one in particular I find helpful and interesting, “If.”

There are four paragraphs to this excellent work, so we’ll divide this topic into four different posts over the next four weeks.

I have been meditating on these words and I hope you’ll find them as interesting as myself.


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 keep your head when all about you
Are loosing theirs and blaming it on you,
Calmness under pressure is among the greatest and rarest of qualities. It is often what separates the men from the boys. He adds the qualifier “..and blaming it on you.” It’s hard enough to keep a clear head, let alone when people are blaming you for the problems.

wwi

Source – wikispaces

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too.
Doubt is the enemy of confidence, nothing crushes ambition faster than a hard word, a word that places a seed of doubt that grows like a weed around your heart, stealing your strength and effort. It requires strength of character to suck it up, and move forward beyond the circumstances.
However, you have to accept there may be reason for a person’s doubt in you. You must look into the abyss, stare at your true self and see if there is reason for doubt. If there is, make sure you acknowledge it and move forward.

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Waiting is a difficult, it taxes self-control and patience. It takes endurance to keep cool. But it is that very ability that sets you apart and improves your character.

Or lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

We live in a world where our reputations matter, and our names should jealousy be guarded from shame. But sometimes you can’t control what others will say and in the end people what they’re going to believe. But no matter what levels of lies or hate your enemy descends to you can’t follow, or you will be as guilty as them.

dandy

Source – wikipedia

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.
For a person of a more prideful nature this stung me the most. There is something to be said for the meek person, though they may be as capable or intelligent as the next guy, they won’t show off or brag about it, letting their actions speak for them. As my father as often said, “Actions speak louder than words.”
It can be bad to make others look foolish by pointing out their lack of knowledge. Tact is key in those situations, where a boss or employer says something wrong and you correct them in a way that makes them look stupid, that only gains they anger, not their trust.

What do you think about “If?” Feel free to leave a comment below.
Be sure to check back next week for part two!

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