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With everyone still being swept away by the ongoing madness at the moment – “Pandemic the sequel” aka “the new abnormal” – this week we felt it was time for something completely different. 
 
So, we’re going to follow on from last week’s beautiful poem by John Keats, with another one that perfectly sums up the qualities needed to ride the very strange times we’re living in. It may have been written over a hundred years ago but is still as true today as it was then. Here it is: 
 
 
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 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
 
 
 
Photo by unknown author 
 
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