6.28.2010

'If'

This poem by Kipling, is framed and hung in the cabin of each and every cadet in the National Defence Academy, Khadkavasla. Cadets do read it often, may be only what is relevant to particular occasions from time to time. Many draw inspiration from the stanza, 'If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, To serve their turn long after they are gone'; as well as, 'If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run', and of course the last line, 'And what is more, you'll be a man my son', which of course they all, still in their teens wanted to be acknowledged as.
Do read it and preserve it. Though idealistic, I'm sure it will nevertheless provide inspiration, especially to the younger generation.
Love & best wishes,

'If' first appeared in his collection 'Rewards and Fairies' in 1909. The poem 'If' is inspirational, motivational, and a set of rules for 'grown-up' living. Kipling's 'If' contains mottos and maxims for life, and the poem is also a blueprint for personal integrity, behaviour and self-development. 'If' is perhaps even more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it, as an ethos and a personal philosophy. Lines from Kipling's 'If' appear over the player's entrance to Wimbledon's Centre Court - a poignant reflection of the poem's timeless and inspiring quality.

Kipling is said to have written the poem 'If' with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The 'Jameson Raid' was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).

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