When you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
When you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
When 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:

When you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
When you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
When you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
When 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:

When 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;
When 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!’

When you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
When neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
When all men count with you, but none too much;
When 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’re probably a woman!

Apologies to Kipling, and all men.


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