Thursday, 25 June 2009

If

Last night was terrible. There were so many 'if' questions that kept flashing through the crevices of my mind. I almost started all my thoughts with an 'if.' I wondered if it was indeed a useful idea to indulge myself in such a process. The mind alas does not look for the reasons, it just keeps grinding the same thoughts over and over. This morning, as I woke up, the 'if' questions resurfaced. They prodded, teased, irritated and finally left me in a state where anger and blame constantly played around. I was angry at every thing and person that crossed my way.

So many 'if' questions bog us down in the journey of life. Its not that we cannot overcome them but the strength lies in allowing the 'ifs' to have their way while we observe the process. Being an observer from outside towards the inside is something which one has to cultivate. Its difficult! It needs practice! It does not happen overnight!

Perhaps certain 'if' questions niggled Rudyard Kipling's mind which led him to write the poem, 'If.'


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 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 all 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!


--Rudyard Kipling

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