Putting Two Letters Together

I and F equal If, a powerful word when the letters are combine.

It contains possibilities that good and bad things might happen. It contains hopes, fears, and regrets. It contains the actions of people, whether negative or positive.

If only . . ./If I was . . ./If that did not . . ./If that happens then . . ./ If she or If he . . .

But the if I want to talk about is a poem I read a few years ago, a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It goes:-

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 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!

What does your IF contains?


7 responses to “Putting Two Letters Together

  1. i will answer in roger whittakar’s words- “I dont believe in if any more… if’s an illusion”

    i dwelled on “if” and “but” for enough time. not any more.

  2. Those words can cause trouble sometimes, but we use them all the time. They’re not concrete, not stable.

  3. Rudyard Kipling’s poem makes his “ifs” seem quite noble. But “if” is a very unstable state of being–it really doesn’t hold much power. It holds you in a very illusory place–to live in “if”. And we do use it quite a bit that’s true.

    This really made me think about that little word and how it affects us. Thanks for that.

  4. “If” has been my accompanying word all throughout my life. Funny, I think. “If” is regret and longing and I think, hope. I’ve been uttering this word for as long as anyone could remember.

    Anyway, I fell in love with Kipling’s poem. Thanks for that! Have a great weekend!

    • Had a wonderful weekend. 🙂 And you?

      You’re correct, it can have negative and positive meanings. I guess it depends on the situation. Still not a concrete word because it’s base on a possibility, but using the word WHEN has a stronger meaning. It’s base on a belief that “the something” will happen.

      Love this poem. I’ve had his Jungle Book for ages and haven’t read it yet. I recently bought The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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