Rudyard Kipling's If

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'If' by Rudyard Kipling Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’’ centres on the theme of stoicism. Stoicism is the ability to keep a steady disposition in all life’s situations whether good or bad. In the first verse, the point that put across is the importance of rebuffing negative opinions from others and keeping one’s individualism and sense of worth in the face of criticism. The word “you” seems to be deliberately used so as to dismantle the barrier between the poet and the reader, inviting the reader to engage. It challenges the reader to have a saint-like sense of forgiveness. At the beginning, the reader is advised to face challenging situations with fortitude and stillness. Hard times would call for a very high sense of awareness, and hence a strong…show more content…
Even if it advises one to behave righteously, it gives a caveat against appearing too wise or too good. The writer appeals to the reader to aim for the great things in life, to be determined. However, the dreams should spring one to action as a motivating force. In the advice that follows, the writer asks the reader to carefully think about everything before they set out to do it. But there should be a careful balance between mulling over the actions to take and letting these thoughts lead to confusion and eventually inaction. He urges the reader to stay impassionate in during defeat and victory. He should have a healthy balance between too much indifference, so much so that they are not willing or able to create a solution, and too moved that it warps their level-headedness. This is an example of taking control of one’s emotions which then translates into an awareness of thought that inform decisions and ultimately actions. The message put across here is to have equanimity when hooligans ruin their valued accomplishments or creations. Equanimity is a stable emotional state of being ‘cantered’ where one is not easily moved by thoughts, actions, and events. One should take this opportunity to rebuild their achievements from the start using whatever bit of energy that they have let in them, as opposed to using it to seek revenge. It is a more efficient way of correcting what the evil people
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