If

I stumbled upon this while reading a book of mine the other day and it immediately brought memories of the past rushing back into my mind.

I had to post it here…

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!

-Rudyard Kipling

The last summer that Craig was Program Director, he, Luke, someone I can’t remember, and I read this poem at the opening campfire. If was the theme of that summer. The four of us, standing on stage as the voice of experience, the voice of wisdom… We played the role, but we hadn’t earned it yet…

It didn’t seem like anything more than a minor hassle then, but looking back on it, it’s one of my favorite memories from all the summers I spent at Ransburg.

I read the third stanza then and now that I read back through the whole poem, I get chills…

I step outside the front door like a ghost into a fog…

7 thoughts on “If

  1. I think every scout took something from that poem back with them that night, maybe something that made them realize why they joined scouting. I agree, one of my fondest memories of the “burg.” For me, the feeling is the same feeling I get at the top of a mountain right before I go to ski down it.

    oh, and update your blog tom…

  2. I’m sad that you took me off your friend’s blogs link even though i don’t really update mine anymore, lol. I’m still curious about your IM to me a few days back . What happened?

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