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Responsibility – a generation that failed to grow up

April 17, 2012


I’ve been thinking a lot in the last few days about what would make a desirable candidate for public office.  Granted, it is nice if a man or woman has “experience” with the type of responsibilities they seek to obtain, but everyone has to start somewhere.  We see so many politicians who act absolutely juvenile.  They point and scream and draw attention only to the flaws of their oponents, literally to the exclusion of any discusion of positive experience or abilities to support their bid for a position.

What makes an individual a leader?  What causes someone to be trustworthy?  These things and more are going to be the subject for my next post.

For now, I want to leave you with a poem I remember from my grade school days.  This is not one that I was required to memorize, I simply heard it being read by other students several times in class.

If you are looking for a way to take the measure of a man, a good place to start is Rudyard Kipling’s poem “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 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
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts (and those of Rudyard Kipling),

From → This and That

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