If: A Father’s Advice to His Son

Rudyard Kipling, If: A Father’s Advice to His Son

“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 knavs 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!”

Have you ever encountered the feeling that you might belong to a different aeon? How you ever experienced what some would call “anemoia” – nostalgia for a time you’ve never known ?

While I ask strong questions, I can not not say how important it is to answer them. And then to ask some more.

The modern world assassinated bare feet warriors that prayed together at the dawn, replacing them with wimps that conceal themselves behind serpentine doors.

Remembering my history lessons, rulers were elevated not only by their conquests but by their principles. Now, I can only think that bravery and values were something born and then killed without being taught to the successors.

Where do we even stand, when compared to those who rose above despair, above grief and loss, above war ?

Look at us, small people worshiping even smaller ones, each of us hoping to get a slice out of what is called: privilege.

We live in a world where all the necessary tools for progress are hidden in few greedy pockets that treat the rest, not as other people but as a mass of junk.

And this all because the individual trusts he has no power, no impact on matters that happen at a global scale.

This is because we only think till the corner of our own block and because our mind reaches only as far as our neighbour’s yard.

Because we have become so damn good at consumerism and so busy building fake lives, that we can’t find the time to reason and react to our surroundings.

While some might make no sense out of this monologue of mine, others might feel that they too want to belong to a world where people build themselves not only intellectually but they elevate their empathy and emotional body. They feed stray cats or adopt children or become mindful of their thoughts and actions.

And they stand for something. And they believe that their standing is worth just as much as a thousand people standing or more.

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