The first English writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Joseph Rudyard Kipling is probably best known today for his classic story The Jungle Book, which was adapted by Disney in the 1960s and became one of its most beloved animated films. Kipling was a great poet and master short-story writer whose support of English imperialism in his work both helped and harmed his reputation throughout his long career. His enormously popular poem “If” is a great example of this concept, which was inspired by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, leader of the controversial Jameson Raid in South Africa in 1985.
But politics (and gender bias) aside, “If” is an excellent poem full of pragmatic advice that continues to inspire readers around world today.
With this in mind, let’s all hit the Pause Button on our lives for a few minutes and check out this video reading of Kipling’s “If”.