You’ll Be A Man, My Son

One of the things that seem to have evolved over time, good or bad evolution…I will let each individual decide, is the poem.  I know there are still many beautiful poems written.   Some make it into a song.  And there are many more written that do not reach our eyes at all.  I believe some of the deepest most poignant poems that can, or could, touch and effect someone’s life or emotions, are probably written by a quiet individual in a notebook that is kept close to their person.  For whatever reason, purpose or motivation, it is written at a personal time and kept to oneself.

But there are classic poems that seem to have been written in another galaxy to most of us.  Those that we may have been introduced to during high school or college, when we were busy doing “other things”.  These classic poems did not seem to mean anything that we could relate to in our life at the time.  Much less interest us.  But as time moved forward, and we ran across one or more of those poems, and read them again for the first time, something seemed to hit home.  Clear our minds.  It may have become an “Ah-ha” moment.  Snuck up on us unsuspecting pupils of life. 

I experienced this with “IF” by Rudyard Kipling.  I have read that before.  And the first time the thing I noticed was the “ye old English phrases” that were used to script it.  (Duh!  Who wrote it and when?)  It kinda turned me off, or just didn’t click with me at the time.  But it slowly made more sense as I read it over the years.

As I had sons, and the poem popped up occasionally, it would be “pretty neat” or again I would say “Hmm, cool.”  The same way I would look at a 1969 Mustang…although the Mustang would probably get more time.

Today it seems to mean a lot more to me.

Today, as Tyler leaves for Australia, I would like to give this poem to him to read and take the advice of Kipling. 

Because it is a meaningful piece of wisdom for all of us, especially as you are on the edge of great possibilities and an adventurous experience.  It is also something I hope that Blake and Drew keep in mind, as well as anyone else who stumbles across this blog.  So, get past the “style” in which it was written. And read the words.  Slowly.  Meaningfully.  Let them sink in and then live them as best as possible. It is your life.

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 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 wornout 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 breath 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!

So, live a wonderful life.  Live it wisely.  Don’t hold back. Enjoy.

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Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 9:57 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You can make me cry every time you write! And the stanky leg, too!!!!
    I LOVE YOU!

    Like


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