Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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:
I could not help but think of Kipling's poem given the current events of the day. When one opens the newspaper or turns on the computer, ones sees so much angst and frustration over the failures of government, the statements of politicians, the articles on the media, the rudeness and discourtesies on social media. It is not unusual to simply want to throw up one's hands and scream.
Then I think again of the lines in this poem;
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:
A lot of people are mourning the "death" of the "conservative" movement. Some are proclaiming its demise with gleefulness. Others are perplexed and do not know what to to. Again the poem offers a way of thinking that gives one a direction that is neither depressing nor foolish.
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!’
Now is not the time to quit. now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to demand accountability and honesty from those who would claim the role as leaders and policy makers. You and I have the responsibility to demand them to act consistent with the promises they have made. As for those who would abuse the system, ask a simple question. Is this the way my mother would want ME to behave? Now presuming your mother was not Ma Barker, the answer is pretty straight forward. Yet for many years now people have ignored this simple test for behavior. Then again the other question is, are your actions something you can live with and come judgment day explain to the Judge of all.
It brings us back to the final stanza and what we are all called to be.
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!
note: no disrespect intended toward women - obviously we are all called to be the persons God intends us to be and so such direction applies also to everyone.