The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: I

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If... (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 allowances for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired of 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 them up with worn-out tools...

"If you can talk with crowds, and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch,
If neither foe nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but not too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the hearth and everything that's in it,
And -- more than this -- you'll be a man, my son!"

(Rudyard Kipling)

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