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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 by waiting,

Of being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look good nor talk too wise;

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 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 hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the will which says "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 not 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!

About Rudyard Kipling - 1865 - 1936

Rudyard Kipling was an English author and poet who wrote extensively from his experiences in India, including: Kim, The Jungle Book, and Just So Stories.

He was unloved as a child, a failure at school, and lost two of his own children.

His fiction and poems were immensely popular and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

His words, images, and ideals provide much of what our culture views as strength of character.