Em­brace chang­ing times

Go! & Express - - CLASSIFIEDS -

RUD­YARD Ki­pling’s big­gest con­tri­bu­tion to po­etry (and life) is ar­guably IF which he penned in 1895 and pub­lished in 1910.

“If you can keep your head when all about you are los­ing theirs and blam­ing it on you. . . And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Lit­er­a­ture abounds with ad­vice and guide­lines re­gard­ing our choices and at­ti­tudes which de­ter­mine how we cope with our par­tic­u­lar jour­neys – the suc­cesses and chal­lenges, the re­la­tion­ships and life­styles, the dis­ap­point­ments and sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments.

Ki­pling’s ad­vice to his son for his life’s jour­ney surely stands at the helm of that body of lit­er­a­ture in its sim­plic­ity and em­pha­sis on sound judge­ment, cop­ing skills and in­tegrity.

Few would dis­agree that life has be­come more com­plex in the dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia age and that the pro­lif­er­a­tion of fake news, pow­er­ful at­tempts at ma­nip­u­la­tion of the me­dia, un­prece­dented cor­rup­tion and a highly volatile po­lit­i­cal cli­mate put the cop­ing skills of most of us to the test.

We also have to con­tend with change that is so rapid and so tech­no­log­i­cally all-en­com­pass­ing, that the world, as we know it, will be vastly dif­fer­ent within 20 years. The demise of the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try is pre­dicted, elec­tronic ve­hi­cles on call (fewer owned by in­di­vid­u­als and op­er­at­ing at dif­fer­ent lev­els above ground), 3D print­ing used for all man­ner of con­struc­tion, the list goes on.

Are the prin­ci­ples of Ki­pling’s poem ap­pli­ca­ble to­day and in the fu­ture?

If Ki­pling were to have penned his poem of ad­vice dur­ing the 21st Cen­tury, it may have gone some­thing like:

“If you can keep your head when all about you “Are los­ing theirs to What­sApp, Face­book and Twit­ter.

“If you can dream and not let so­cial me­dia own you,

“If you can go with the flow – nor lose per­spec­tive

“Of the peo­ple and na­ture around you,

You will smell the roses and – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

We owe it to our­selves and the next gen­er­a­tion to keep our heads, to main­tain a healthy per­spec­tive and to em­brace na­ture and the world around us.

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