Thursday, January 28, 2016

The "If" series, foes and loving friends

The "If" series contains a set of excerpts from Rudyard Kipling's magnificent poem. It's a shame about the gender specific language although the poem was written over 100 years ago. These thoughts are my reflections only.

"If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you but none too much."

I'm slowly arrived at what I think is the best way to deal with an intensely political environment. Places where people smile at you and talk behind your back, where people don't say what they mean or mean what they say, situations where you think you have a friend but really it's just a person keeping their enemy close.

Roughly I've come to think of it as being that it's important to have good people saying good things about you but equally as important to have bad people saying bad things about you. Most often the credibility of the critic's commentary does the talking for you.

That has saved my sanity more than once - when I am being pilloried it's good to remember that it's my own judgement that really matters. Often I'm proven right in these cases and when I'm wrong that's life.

But even so the only person whose thoughts really matter is you. I feel better about that because as I've grown I seem to have developed a conscience of sorts. So the sentence that all men count with you but none too much really carries some weight.

That also helps with the "being hated not give in to hating" part of this poem.

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