In the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling, what does "If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of distance run..." suggest?
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!
"If" by Rudyard Kipling is one of his most famous poems. The prose in the last stanza refers to several key points reflected throughout the poem.
The "unforgiving minute" is a reference to a universal aspect of life. A minute has only sixty seconds in it, no more, no less. It does not matter what a person does during those sixty seconds, the minute is unforgiving. If a person wastes the time, they cannot get it back or ask for a reprieve from the inevitable march of time.
"Sixty seconds' worth of distance run" is a reminder to fill the unforgiving minute with useful activity. Kipling is suggesting the reader take the advice, run and cover distance, meaning to move through life with a purpose.