“you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Picture this. You’re sitting in an internal team meeting. The project is far more complicated than you thought. There’s no way you can meet the deadline you’ve given to the customer. Are you sweating now?

Others in the meeting are either saying what we should have done differently, or trying to shift the blame to others. Are they trying to make you the scapegoat? Will you be the one left holding the bag? Will you be fired?

Take a deep breath, wait till the others have vented, and if you have some thoughts on the path forward, offer them.

As I read Kipling’s poem “If—”, I find more wisdom in it, than most of the self help books I’ve read. More wisdom than in the hours of Woke bullshit I’ve listened to.

While it ends with “you’ll be a Man, my son!”, it applies to everyone with a “pair”. Male or female.


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 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 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!

This poem is in the public domain.

Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling. 1865 – 1936

Joseph Rudyard Kipling is best known for his novels The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, and Kim, and his most famous poem, “If—“.

If it were up to me, I would add it as the Book of Psalms, תְּהִלִּים. Actually, I wish Moses had read this to the people of Israel. I wish I had paid attention to this when I was a younger man.

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