Rudyard Kipling
If 

If
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 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 wornout 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 breath 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! 
         Dearest Readers…  I read this poem from my past that means so much to me, again, tonight…. It’s raining here… a light mist that gathers in little dribs and drabs, on the roof near my head, and drains into the metal gutter, gurgling and moaning like a lazy stream. I should, by all rights, be asleep by now… It’s almost 2 A.M., after all. Morning will be on my doorstep soon.
      But, I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent comments after my last post, and, I  have to say that I feel strangely contemplative… I keep thinking back to the wonderful times I shared with my brothers and, the kids that I mentored over the years. 
        After I read some of the comments, I started to realize how blessed I have been, and, how difficult life has been for others… I have had my challenges in life, to be sure, but,  I always felt that God was with me, even in my darkest hours. I think I may have taken for granted that everyone felt that same love, or, the potential for love.
        I know that there is a wide divergence of beliefs out there and that I often refer to my own faith in the stories I publish… I do that in the hope that it will make my journey through life more understandable to all of you, because it is part of who I am, and, I hope that it also makes it OK for the young and old chipmunks that visit here to express themselves in their faith in a unique way, by taking up the torch and lighting the way for others in their lives that are not so fortunate, or, perhaps, are lonely…
        I want those people to know that you have never walked alone, even if it might seem that way, and, I hope this poem inspires you to share your talents and love with the important people in your life, and, have enough faith to live with courage… We are all special and deserving of love, but there is always someone who doesn’t believe, or feel that love… I challenge all of you to reach out to those in need, especially the young, who teeter on the edge of hopelessness at times. Be that someone that they can turn to, and share the hope of the future with them. It will enrich you in unimaginable ways!!  I love you all!!  tman<3<3<3
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