If you can speak and not make speech your lies,
Or gifted with sight, you ensnare not your eyes;
If you can hear and not by listening be corrupt,
Or being generous, you fear not to go bankrupt;
If you can rise when others choose to go down,
Or being truthful, prefer to be called a clown;
If you can learn and not make knowledge a curse,
Or being curious, make no vain pursuit your boss;
If you can try and not in trying found wanting,
Or faced with failure, you stop not to keep living;
If you can love and not for once resort to hate,
Or being betrayed, choose not to curse your fate;
If you can ask and not by getting be doomed,
Or when at lack, not given to a hopeless mood;
If you can soar higher and remain humble still,
Or terribly tempted, lose not your precious will;
If you can count for each loss, a blessing—two,—
And do same with your luck and misfortunes too;
If you can behold yourself and smile all night,
Reassuring yourself that all shall be alright;
If you can bear to hold none in mind for a foe,
Or when any is found, you let such a hurt go;
If you can rule and not misuse the throne,
But having it all, consider none as your own;
If you can love and enjoy your own company,
Or when around others, disrespect not any;
If you can err and not be too proud to repent,
But after forgiven, treasure such a moment;
If you can be quiet to hear a minor speak,
—Kind enough to listen throughout the week;
If you can go an extra mile for love’s sake,
And the road otherwise, you would not take;
If you can do something worthwhile for free,
Or being paid, you add a bonus for three;
If you can ask for little but desire to do more,
Or tho’ incapable, find something to live for;
If you can live so good you have no regret,
Or met with griefs, you quietly kneel to forget—
The world, I tell you, is yours my friend,
If like these you could live from now till the end.
Inspired by: “IF” (Rudyard Kipling)