Tag Archives: at the wellspring

Living Kipling’s “If”

While recently conducting research in Assagioli’s Archives, I came across this note by chance:

kipling-ifWill
Techniques
Use much
Kipling’s If
Learn it by
heart.
Repeat it.
Live it!

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

It evokes the
various character-
istics of the will
– detachment
– mastery
– sense of time
– positive modality

In fact, Assagioli wrote this note two times, indicating that he found Rudyard Kipling’s poem from 1895 significant.

 

My curiosity peaked, and I quickly found the poem on the internet. My first impression was how “male” the poem felt. Written in the form of a father’s advice to his son, I found it difficult to overcome my feelings of being excluded from its message. How might this poem be different if it had ended with: “You’ll be a Woman, my daughter!”[1]

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