Yan's Corner - In Touch

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If

This is perhaps the shortest title of my postings from February through to November. This is a poem I came across during my school days. It’s almost three decades ago. The fact that it’s still kept tells the treasure in it. During those days, there was no computer where you can store beautiful words. The poem was copied into an exercise book. It was not a dairy. I did not keep one. During those days, my gang of friends said this, “Anyone who keeps diaries is the most stupid person in the world. It’s telling own secret to the whole world.”

Lately, I am trying to clear my study room. These treasures with copied poems, published articles in the newspaper, small notes, cards … were taken out from the “treasure box”. I typed some beautiful poems into my notebook. The files are all on the desktop covering more than two-thirds of the screen area. Yesterday, little Chris played “Bookworm” game on my notebook. He tidied all my word document in a folder called “Mum’s stuff”.

Those were the beautiful memories of the young days. However, this poem “If” lives through the time.

If
By Rudyard Kipling

If you 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
And 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 imposters 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 thing things you gave your life to, broken
And stoop and build them up, with worn-out tools.

If you 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!

Can you do that? I can’t. These are too difficult demands. Yet, it’s worth keep working on it. God has not done with me yet!

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