Kipling's poem "If" makes a number of seemingly contradictory statements, and readers might very well be confused by them long before finishing the poem. The key to those statements can be found in the poem's closing lines.
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
The poem is trying to teach a life lesson, and the contradictory statements are a part of that lesson. The speaker is saying that if "you" can do this one thing while doing something seemingly opposite, then you will be a man and find success all throughout life. I feel that a line from the second stanza illustrates this idea quite well.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those...
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