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If I Could If Myself Silly

When I was 19 years old, I pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Cornell University. In addition to all the clandestine-half-fiction-half-reality stuff I had to do, I also had to be able to rattle off, with military precision and intensity, a full catalog of poems, statements and greetings at a moments notice. To this day I can still rattle off nearly everything without error. How's that for negative reinforcement?

While surfing the net I happened across one of the most meaningful poems I had to remember. It is absolutely scary how these words are apply no matter the time or era man (and woman) might find himself in. And they are especially cogent in these times. And they especially make sense at work, at home, with the wife, with the kids, with your dreams etc., etc.

by Sir 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 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 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!

It doesn't get any more Man, Dad and Husband than this.

Related Link: Frat Life

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