Thursday, May 19, 2011


Texas Tech University Chancellor, Kent Hance, shared a poem titled “If” which evokes lots of thought.

From the poem that each graduate received, “Rudyard Kipling wrote “If” in 1896 as a tribute to the character of Dr. Leander Starr Jameson. The poem was intended for Kipling’s son.

Jameson was a man of tremendous character who courageously led a raid in South Africa against the Boer Government. Jameson was defeated in the raid, and the poem was partially inspired by the way Jameson handled the defeat.

Though Kipling was just 31 years old when he wrote the poem, it has gone on to become one of the most popular pieces of literature in the world.”

IfIf 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 to 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 imposters 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 kinds – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor living 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!

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