God just might be an Englishman

It is easy to succumb to moods of depression as we are bombarded with stories of massacres, religious intolerance and insurrections. It is easy to be bewildered by the outrageous claims of political campaigns. It is easy to question our identity, as labels such as 47 per centers, 1 per centers, 99 per centers, free loaders, elitists, rightists and leftists are tossed at us. It is easy to go into a rage as religious zealots, terrorists and insurgents snuff out lives in the name of God, a poltical cause or both.

While feeling down about the woes facing us, I recalled the words , "if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs", from Rudyard Kipling,s poem "IF".  I last read the poem in elementary school. Reading it again, made me speculate that powerful words like Kipling's could lend credence to God being an Englishman. If I could prove that God was addicted to tea, that would make my case. Now what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Absolutely nothing, I love cliches. Let's leave it that the Englishman is telling me that if I keep my head screwed on right, I should be able to navigate through these troubled times. 


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 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 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 '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 so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: '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 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!

 - Rudyard Kipling

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