During my initial days of college life, there used be to a particular poster always put next to the notice board outside the dean’s office. Over the years, variations of the same poster found its’ way outside our campus library as well as in the campus cafeteria. Along the years, towards the last few months of college, it was seen on the walls of a few of our local cafe’s and delis. The posters varied from being a wordle to the full fledged poem of “If”. Written by the Rudyard Kipling, it exemplifies the multitude characteristics essential to become the ideal man. In other words, this poem brings to light the stoicism and reserve seen in the classic British “stiff upper lip.”
Although I suspected that “If” found its’ predominance in my college campus so as to bring the class of students into line with the intent of bringing order and discipline into the campus. To this day, I still believe that “If” did play a prominent though subtle role during the intense situations in college life.
The core of “If” that helped us during our college days was to set parameters to reach the level of maturity in the modern world. It taught us not only to be responsible for the decisions we make in life, but to also stand up for our beliefs with due consideration to the social strictures and seek clarifications when in doubt. Although caution has to be used to see through the lies and know whom or when to give our trust. Even though education opens the doors, the skill lies in understanding which desires or ambitions to achieve and when to modulate our dreams to the current tide so as not to lose our grasp on reality. Above all not to forget our roots and neither to indulge in pompous display of knowledge or skill.
“If” made us realize that neither success stays nor does failure, but preparedness to start again if need be instead of dwelling on the losses or gains of the past. Instead we learn to deal with the disappointment and the grief. For the resilience of the human nature is like the phoenix, to rise from the ashes even if a kernel of hope exists. Above all, learn to make every hour count and then we will to find the world at our fingertips.
My Alma-mater was determined to teach us to not only ride the rough waters waves but also to secure a safe location and drop the Anchor within ourselves during the storm. For us immature youth, they taught us to wear the cloak of dignity with humility and fortitude to reach the maturity of adulthood.