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This poem hangs on my wall now. I used to read it daily to my class YEARS ago. It's my motivator to keep going despite negativity.

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 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!
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116 comments
 
You're a pretty cool dude...
And not just because you have a YouTube...
Cause you're nice
 
my 6th grade teacher had us memorize it. good stuff
 
wow. powerful words. thank you for this. my hat goes off to you, keep the faith, the world has lost most of it (faith).
 
That's a beautiful poem man. I bet the kids loved you as a teacher.
 
its not only right, but it's also a life changing advice, thanks for sharing it
 
Great thing ou shared this man. Great reminder to everyone esp me.
 
"... Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools ..." .. a wonderful poem from the great writer! Very inspirational and motivating!
 
i have a lot of translatings in russian of classic poets,, don t know anything better.. it is called- if? in rusian so....
 
...but it's not true, cf. the Bible.
 
Hardcore poem. Added it to my educational links.
 
Always inspiring.Perhaps of a more mature generation in a gentler age.Probably been done,but how awesome to put these words into a rap!
 
"The Bible tells the truth!" says Ryan the Ginger at 11:09
 
i quote and paraphrase lines from this all the time. wise word to live by.
 
I wrote it out as punishment over 200 times in a year while in boarding school
 
If you think the 19th century was a gentler time, you really need to study history. I don't think you'll find many Indian people that consider the Raj a gentle era.
 
Its been a very long time since I'd seen this - sharing!
 
From a naïve nostalgic British Conservative's point of view of course.I hold no grudges against the Germans,the French,the Spanish,the Scandinavians,the Romans etc.
 
Your post reminded me of one of the great teachers of my life, Professor Marc Crawford, the late journalist and pioneering Jazz critic. He taught my freshman composition class at NYU, way back in the early '80s.

My classmates and I were the inarticulate sons and daughters of middle-class privilege, and Professor Crawford didn't hide his contempt for our shameful inability to speak and write our own language He would often vent his fury at us in spontaneous rants that left us flush with embarrassment.

During one such tirade, he abruptly stopped to ask each of us in turn to "please name and recite your favorite poem." Of course, no one could even name a poem, much less recite one. In digust, he announced our next assignment would be to stand in front of the class and recite two poems, without notes: "Invictus," by William Ernest Henley, and "If," by Rudyard Kipling.

Somehow, we all managed to pull it off, and the effort made us better people. The poem is forever taped to the refrigerator in my mind :)

Sadly, I learned that Marc Crawford died in 1996. Here is a tribute I found in an NYU publication: A Farewell to Marc Crawford - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JvH-Gbc2PRekZvjnzxTgLfTcCYA4xwtaii7g_0Ix0_k/edit

Sorry for the long post, but you brought to mind something very meaningful :) Thanks!
 
Got that poem for birthday from a friend. Laminated in plastic (not sure if said it right ) poem says it all for mankind :D
 
Stephen Milburn - I hope I didn't offend you. I've been reading Dickens lately. Even in his lighter works, Pickwick Papers for example, he still has time to condemn certain features of the Victorian era, debtors prison for example. In the USA we fought a civil war that killed more of us than WW I and WW II combined.
 
A tall order indeed, but a good idealogy! Thanks for sharing! Kipling is always a great read!
 
Good read and good reminder! Thanks for posting this.
 
Awesome poem. Worth-reading a 100 times....
 
first time i knew about the author but the poem is thought provoking. thanks for sharing.
 
Why is it smarter than the average blog?
 
i also remember it - my favourite verse is the impostor verse
 
I grew up reading his work... nice share ...:)
 
Thank's for the posting. I will share this poem with my kids.
 
this poem was in my intermediet text book.
 
Great words by which to live life
 
Is really nice this poem. I have another poem "Penelope"

Penélope,
con su bolso de piel marrón
y sus zapatos de tacón
y su vestido de domingo.
Penélope
se sienta en un banco en el andén
y espera que llegue el primer tren
meneando el abanico.

Dicen en el pueblo
que un caminante paró
su reloj
una tarde de primavera.
"Adiós amor mío
no me llores, volveré
antes que
de los sauces caigan las hojas.
Piensa en mí
volveré a por ti..."

Pobre infeliz
se paró tu reloj infantil
una tarde plomiza de abril
cuando se fue tu amante.
Se marchitó
en tu huerto hasta la última flor.
No hay un sauce en la calle Mayor
para Penélope.

Penélope,
tristes a fuerza de esperar,
sus ojos, parecen brillar
si un tren silba a lo lejos.
Penélope
uno tras otro los ve pasar,
mira sus caras, les oye hablar,
para ella son muñecos.

Dicen en el pueblo
que el caminante volvió.
La encontró
en su banco de pino verde.
La llamó: "Penélope
mi amante fiel, mi paz,
deja ya
de tejer sueños en tu mente,
mírame,
soy tu amor, regresé".

Le sonrió
con los ojos llenitos de ayer,
no era así su cara ni su piel.
"Tú no eres quien yo espero".
Y se quedó
con el bolso de piel marrón
y sus zapatitos de tacón
sentada en la estación.
J.M. SERRAT
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If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs...
you are probably not a French Aristocrat.

Kipling's story is somewhat sad - he changed so much after losing his son in the trenches of the Western Front.
 
If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs... It could very well be that you are NOT understanding the gravity of the situation.
 
Having been written about a century ago, I considered asking my daughter to re-write this from a feminine perspective. During the pending legislation of SOPA and PIPA, I especially thought it was pertinent to the legislation since at the time Kipling wrote this it was not a "woman's place" to consider ones self worth as such. I should still ask her to plagiarise the daylights out of the poem, with apologies to the Kipling family of course.
 
If you can keep your head
While those around you are loosing theirs
Perhaps you don't understand the situation
 
This is a great poem.always love it
 
wonderful poem indeed !! thanks for posting it here in google+
 
I've also known it for quite a long time; It's great, the only thing I don't like about it is the last line - could be better. Very good life guideline, anyway.
 
oohhh ...its ma fav one... i love it... its a real motivator....one must read ut
 
great words...his books are always a great read....
 
Let me also add one of my favorites.

To Risk

By William Arthur Ward


"To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails."
 
Tears form in my eyes this rainy day in Washington D.C.. Thank you to YOU; Lamarr, and to YOU; Christopher J., for speaking from your hearts & souls! I'll share w/my 13 yr. old daughter; Georgeanna, over breakfast, as yesterday she introduced me to Google+!
~Warm Regards~
 
Thanks só much for posting such a beautiful põem; I loved it.
 
I would have never heard of this poem if not for you sharing it. Very meaningful. Tx!
 
inspirational !If only I had read this poem earlier.
 
Our teacher used to read this poem to us
 
we used to read this all the time in class lolz
 
I read that poem.... It was a great poem and it had a lot of meaning to it! It is an awesome poem! 💙💙💙
 
I love this poem. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha we had to receite this on a daily basis. I always go back to it in a time of need.
 
A great poem. +Reggie R I also learned this poem as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. It's always great to go back to this from time to time.
 
Reading this for the first time and I'm moved. Thanks for sharing.
 
I've never read it. I need to look it up.
 
I just love this poem,it's one of my favorites.
 
Wow! I guess this poem just answered all worries of my life for now. I have never read Kipling before. Should give it a try.
 
nothing can be as gud as this poem....its life in words...
 
Poem is OK, but had for me to overlook Kipling's racism.
 
Anil Das. If you might pull your head out your arse for a second and explain to me how that is racist. I am truly interested in what you have to say..
 
that poem made me think about when i was walking oneday and saw a older person one day i went home look in the looking glass and scream that older person was me.now i dont have to run only slow walk because i now have wisdom and a little faith to just do it
 
Haven't read it in years! Thanks. . .
 
great motivator,I'm going to post this in my office..Thanks Lamarr
 
hi wilson how r u pls send your mobile num
 
WE HAVE IT AT MY FATHER'S TOO!
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