I left the Wednesday slot on the Blog free purposefully, intuitively wanting to know what would “flow in”. Wisdom is what seems to want to flow . . . but maybe not every Wednesday, so maybe there’ll be a blog or post of some kind, and maybe not. As long as the inspiration keeps coming, I’ll keep going with it.
This series of inspirations is a new way of distilling wisdom and passing it onto you . . . “Voice of Men”. This week Rudyard Kipling is the voice of men’s Wisdom, and his writing “If” written for his son and showing him the way to mature manhood .
“If” [You’ll be a man my son] | Joseph Rudyard Kipling
Henry James: “Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius, as distinct from fine intelligence, that I have ever known.”
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work. [b. December 30 1865 – d. January 18 1936]
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!
. . . . Video narrated by Tom O’ Bedlam.
Rudyard Kipling wrote this poem for his son John, who was enlisted and died in war service. Years later, Kipling received a parcel from France of his book “Kim” which was ridden by a bullet hole. When he read the letter it came with, it explained that his book saved the life of the person who sent him the package. As a sign of gratitude, that French soldier named his newborn son, Jean, in honor of Kipling’s dead son – he also made Kipling Jean’s Godfather.
“Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right.”