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The Tentacle


December 5, 2016

Ancient Advice to Both “Sides”

Ken Kellar

The riots, the mobs, and the violent thuggery before and after the election are deeply troubling.

 

The violent and criminal punks are challenged to return to humanity, civilization, and the rule of law.

 

Those receiving the threats, insults and blows are challenged to hold to the principles of western civilization and not succumb to the temptation to sink to the level of those refusing to accept the election results, nor the temptation to shrink from their convictions and principles in order to avoid the thugs’ wrath.

 

I think Rudyard Kipling’s poem titled If provides poignant advice and inspiration to both sides:

 

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!

 



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