Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things Fall Apart

IF by Rudyard Kipling

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!

Of course I am a woman and a daughter but the sentiment remains. Whenever I don't feel grown up enough for life, this poem makes me feel better.

This New Year I have had reason to give thanks for my many blessings. Well, I have reason every year and every day but every once in a while something happens to bring home to me how lucky I am. It just happened to be around the holidays this year. I wish peace and happiness were as easy to dole out as words and blog posts.

I hope you, too, can give thanks for your blessings. And if, perhaps, you or someone you know is going through a hard time please accept the peace and happiness I am so desperately wanting to share with those that need it. Things can fall apart so quickly.


  1. This remains one of my favorite pieces of poetry. Learned it as a kid and it still manages to move me. Kudos, Rachel.

  2. For me, too! There's something in me that responds quite deeply to these words and that response hasn't dimmed with time.