Kipling Poem Revised

If you aim high

   (Jeane’s riff on R. Kipling’s classic poem ‘If’)

If you can keep your head when all about you
 Are freaking out and blaming others;
If you can trust yourself when no one else does,
   Yet listen and learn from 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 find reason to laugh, then you’ll be 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 challenges just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by someone to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on a worthwhile gamble,
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, seeing them as Souls,
   Or walk with kings—and see them as the same;
If neither foes nor former friends can hurt you;
   Because you’re tuned to your inner Guidance;

If being love means more to you than power
And all your big goals are spiritual—
   The cosmos and planet are yours to enjoy,
And—what is more—you’ll be evolving fast!

~ Jeane Manning

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