“If” You Can Offer Just a Little

Apr 12, 2019 | Posted by Evan


Sometimes a poem can encapsulate a situation or provide the narration of our life experiences. It can also instruct in virtue, offering important considerations to enhance our strength to carry on in the face of some adversity. In the educational realm, Scholar Base aptly states that “poetry as an art breaks across grammar and syntax to create something new and imaginative for the children. It provides an adventure for the mind.” Regardless of the timely reason, sharing poetry with your students is a powerful activity, and it doesn’t take much out of your day at all to share just a little at a time! One of my favorites is the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

                                             By Rudyard Kipling

                         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!

Things get tough in the odyssey of raising up our students. Even if it seems you have “lost” and are “starting again at your beginnings”; even if it seems as though there is “nothing in you” to go on with, take “sixty seconds” and share this classic with your students today. It is only but one of many influential little things that can help you and your students “hold on.”


Evan is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, but has called Oklahoma home since 1997. With a diverse background in acting, music, sales, customer service, distribution, and special needs job coaching, he has been excited to contribute to IEW's company mission since joining the team in 2017. Evan has been blessed with six children and one dog. When not reading or telling stories with his family, Evan is an avid musician and aspiring author.

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