What is Kipling's final advice to his listener in "If—"?
"If" is a poem that is a summative list of ways that the speaker's son can achieve manhood. The poem is full of sound advice for anyone looking for ways to grow and become a stronger person. The final bit of advice is not the singular path to manhood (or living one's best life); rather, the poem must be taken in its totality. For example, the speaker provides advice such as the following:
- Trust yourself even when others don't—but do consider why they doubt you.
- Don't hate people just because they hate you.
- Don't lie about people just because they lie about you.
- Dream, but don't become a slave to your dreams.
- When life doesn't turn out the way you planned, work hard with your "worn out tools" to create a new path.
- When you find yourself at a height of popularity, remember your virtue.
The final bit of advice is this:
If you can fill the unforgiving minuteWith sixty seconds' worth of distance run
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