When All About You

A quick thought, nothing more. It’s nice in times like these to take stock of things. And when the market is crumbling, the job rate rising, we Americans are embroiled in what some see as the wrong wars, and generally the world is wobbling, it is indeed time to separate the flimsy from the solid. When asked what makes Chinese martial arts what it is the answer comes back, Chi Ku or the ability to eat bitter. There’s really more to it than that but the ability to eat bitter reminds me of the famous Kipling poem simply titled “If…” It can be some help to reflect that the ┬ámartial training is always there, despite trouble and doubt. What you put in this bank never depreciates. Even skill may come and go but the martial experience is always there. Keep practicing, this is an investment in you…


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 wornout 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

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