Poem by Rudyard Kipling: If

Poem by Rudyard Kipling: 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


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Shireen 8 years ago

    Thank you for the timely reminder! Here is one for you.

    To laugh often and much
    to win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children,
    to earn the appreciation of honest critics, and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    to leave the world a bit better
    whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
    to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here,
    This is to have succeeded.
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Author
      Polly Castor 8 years ago

      Lovely! Thank you!

  2. Joe Herring 8 years ago

    I never imagined Kipling would be so up- to – date !

    • Author
      Polly Castor 8 years ago

      I know, right?! Timeless issues, I guess.

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