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by Rudyard Kipling

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What is the message of "If" by Rudyard Kipling?

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"If" is intended to instruct its readers on the character qualities a good leader must possess. The first stanza of the poem counsels self-confidence and integrity, the ability to "trust yourself when all men doubt you." On the other hand, it also warns against the foolishness of arrogance, pointing out that men still need to "make allowance for their doubting" as a means of learning from others....

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