What does the line "If all men count with you, but none too much" mean in the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The line in question is in the fourth stanza of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling wrote the poem for his son as a means of teaching him how to be a righteous, virtuous man. The fourth stanza relays advice on how to deal with other people.

The line “If all men count with you, but none too much” is meant to help his son understand he should value all human beings but no one person or group of people should seem far more important than another. In other words, everyone, no matter what their station in life, has value. There are none who are not important in the grand scheme of life. Kipling is teaching his son not to think of those in higher stations to be more relevant or more in need of his attention. Basically, he is admonishing his son to seek an equal balance in his feelings for all mankind.