A Poem to Inspire You When Things Aren’t Going the Way You Want

If—

 

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!

 

Everyone goes through ups and downs of life, when we are in a situation that doesn’t make sense, or searching for something that just isn’t to be found… yet.  It’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up.  I wish I had answers or really knew what to say.  A lot of people in my life are in situations like these, it is a fact of life that we will, at some point, face things that seem beyond our ability to understand or even cope with.  This is life.

There will be times when your plans fall through, or when your dreams seem to vaporize… your hope will be dashed so many times that your heart will be sick, and you will be afraid to hope in anything again.  This is life.

But these are also the things that grow us.  We learn strength and integrity, we learn faithfulness and kindness, and to depend on God for our serenity and sustenance – we learn that He is ever-present in every let down, every failure, and every mistake.  We learn that we are never alone in the trials that we may face, because there is always someone else who has “been there,” and was able to get through.

There are also those who don’t make it through, and take their own life in order to escape, or resort to an existence of ungratefulness and discontented with their life.  Hidden bitterness and resentment against everyone around them becomes their way of life.  To me they are examples of why you can’t lose hope… why you should strive to learn the art of contentment and happiness with the life you are living in.  You want to have a good life, full of love in the deepest sense.

The only thing that is certain is that you will be tested in life… you will face trials that will try to break you.  You will face what Kipling’s poem talks about… it is to see if you can mature through it, or become discontent and bitter with life.  There really seems to be only those two choices: maturing and growing, or becoming discontent and eventually bitter.

I’m choosing the former.

 

‘If’ Poem by Rudyard Kipling, from  A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)

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