In Rudyard Kipling's poem "If," what are the qualities one should possess to become a perfect man?

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Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem “If” to give his son direction on how to become a respectable man.

He advises his son to stay calm in the face of adversity, to be truthful, self-righteous, and proud. When others are attempting to spread untruths and hate, he suggests remaining true to one’s ideals, while not sinking to the lowly actions of others.

In addition, Kipling suggests the need for hard work while maintaining a “dream.” The dream should not impede progress and if all is lost, it is important to continue to move forward. If all is lost, he suggests that the respectable man will find a way to recover and prosper once again without burdening others with his problems.

Finally, he feels it is important be able to interact with all of humanity while demonstrating self-dignity. One should not put on airs when dealing with those of a higher class, nor should a man look down upon others. A true man will fit in with all of humanity, but not be solely identified with one group.

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! 

The qualities needed to be a “perfect” man include: self- worth, compassion for mankind, a strong work ethic, the ability to interact with those from all walks of life while not stooping to the pettiness of others, and to care about others while maintaining self-dignity.

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In the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling, what does the poet mean by a perfect man?

A perfect man, according to Kipling, is one who has character. Good character makes you a man. Kipling refers to being a man as having confidence, because he knew he was the best person he could be. It's being able to trust yourself and doing the right thing even while faced with difficult circumstances.

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In the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling, what does the poet mean by a perfect man?

Kipling's speaker in this poem lists many of the qualities valued among British men during the Victorian period. Some of these qualities include keeping one's cool even when everyone else is losing his own, trusting one's self even when no one else does, and risking all one's winnings in a single desperate bet. Clearly, self confidence was a part of being "a perfect man" in this society. Additionally, the speaker mentions that, having lost his single desperate bet, the "perfect man" would "never breathe a word about [his] loss" and start over again. He would also treat "triumph and disaster...just the same." Therefore, it is also clear that "a perfect man" is a stoic he accepts wins and losses without emotional display.

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