Thoughtful Thursday: If For Boys

Here’s a new GCP weekly feature: Thoughtful Thursday. Every Thursday we will post a creative writing to inspire you and your boys. Today’s offering is a classic from Rudyard Kipling: If for Boys. The first line came to mind recently as I wrote to encourage a friend who was a target of unfair criticism. I dug up the poem and read it, and was amazed at all of the good advice it contains. Treat those two “impostors” triumph and disaster just the same? Walk with Kings but keep a common touch? Great stuff.

If you have a favorite passage, quote, poem or lyric which you find particularly inspiring with respect to raising sons, please send it to us, and we will post it on Thoughtful Thursdays. Today, enjoy “If for Boys”:

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!

Rudyard Kipling

kipling_if

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