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3/2/02


 

       IF

If you can keep your head
when all about you
Are losing theirs and approving
of that which is wrong

If you can trust your own vision
when it seems all others
Are blind to the truth that the
Emperor has no clothes

If you can wait and not be tired
by waiting for the redemption
that looms two years hence

Or hearing the lies, refuse
to cede the debate to the liars,
Or seeing the hatred, refuse to
cower before the bigots
And never shy from the battle,
nor surrender to the gloom:

If you remember the
famous dream--and fear not to
make it your dream, so that all
people are precious to you,
regardless of superficial
distinction

If you have the courage to think
for yourself--even when the
majority insists that you must not

If you can meet with Triumph
and Disaster, and use each as
motivation to struggle for Liberty
and Justice

If you can bear to hear the truth
of our stolen democracy

Twisted by knaves to make a trap
for fools,

Or see our Constitution, broken
and defiled,

And fight past the pain to restore
what has been taken

If you can stand for your
principles

And be willing to get back up
when those without principles
have knocked you down

And having been cheated, start
again at your beginnings

And use the unfairness of your
loss to steel your resolve;

If you can force your heart and
nerve and sinew

To defy passing trends and always
demand what is right

And so hold on to your beliefs
when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says:
"Hold on!"

If you can take a stand for the
weak, when it is easier not to
And defend the rights of the
reviledóbecause freedom
demands it

If neither hostile foes nor well
meaning friends can convince you
to choose comity over integrity

If you can fill the unforgiving
eternity

With an unyielding insistence that
love is not weakness, nor is
violence strength

If you are too weary to
continue what often seems a
hopeless quest
But you love this country too
much to ever stop 

Yours is America and everything
that's in it,

And--which is more--you'll be a
fighting liberal, my friend!

--Rudyard Kipling (not)

More David Podvin

Podvin, the Series

 


Last changed: December 13, 2009