There was a time when the classics were taught in school. There was a time when great poets took center stage in our literature classes. I am sure that there are still those stalwarts who expose our children to the great masters of long ago, but for too many of our children – their poetry and prose consists of the stuff that the most popular rapper has out.
When I was yet a little girl I heard a poem whose lines stuck with me. it was a poem by Rudyard Kipling entitled, “IF”. While I won’t give the entire poem in this forum, I would suggest that you take a few moments and read it in its’ entirety:
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 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!
This poem affected me as a young child, and It yet affects me today. Am I able to “keep my head, when all about me are losing theirs and blaming it on me”? This speaks so to the condition I see in our world. The hypocrisy, the blatant shift in opinion in our leaders one minute with the masses who go along with their opinion,; then watching as they do a 180 and the masses flocking there too! I spend a lot of time reflecting on the condition of our world and I wonder what will become of “truth”. Will it vanish in this generation? Will my grandchildren and great grandchildren hear the infamous words like those penned by Rudyard Kipling? Will they know that there is no more certain truth than that which lies in scripture? Will the content of our character spoken of Dr. King Jr. still be a debatable issue, or are we precluding that everything is about race – with all of one race being good and all of another race being bad?
Can we teach our children that all people have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Yet there is an advocate for all of us, “red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”