Mile Post 370

Mile Post 370
Mile Post 370

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sage advice for Adults and those who soon will be.

A number of years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Rudyard Kipling's poem entitled "If."

Kipling is known for many pieces of writing including the Jungle Book and The Charge of the Light Brigade.  I consider myself  a connoisseur of poetry but somehow, I did not get introduced to this fine piece of wisdom, set to meter and rhyme.

I just read this wonderful poem to my son at his high school graduation ceremony.  We've gone over it a number of times now (and I know that he tires of me talking about it).  But, how can I not give him such great advice?  I'm living it right now, so he's also getting the object lesson of this poem right now.

In raising teenagers, and hopefully helping them to make the transition to adulthood, we see the wisdom of Kipling, who was writing to a young man about manhood.  His sage advice is relevant, asking his pupil to reflect, measure, and act.  He challenges his charge to give all, to bet on themselves, to get back up after being knocked flat and to NEVER quit.

My friend, who introduced me to "If," was at the time co-worker.  Jeffrey, was in his early 50s, a year or two older than me.  He was required to memorize this poem as part of pledging to a Fraternity to which he would join.

At the time I was introduced to Kipling's If, we were going through a tough time at work, as the Department Management had recently changed and decided that "the old guys were the problem."  They set out to systematically eliminate us by forcibly demotion, transfer, retirement or even "corrective discharge."

Jeffrey was on the firing line and I would follow him, involuntarily, about a year later.  Looking at Kipling's words of wisdom, I followed his advice, leaving room for doubt and yet realizing who I was and what my contributions to my job were.  I am currently "holding on," although my strength is gone.  I am rebuilding with broken tools.  And I will continue on.

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