The fourth stanza of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling addresses the virtue of resilience and adaptability. Here is the text of the stanza:
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:”
The meaning behind this stanza can be summarized as follows:
1. Keeping Composure
It encourages the reader to remain calm and level-headed when everyone around them is panicking or losing control.
It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a clear mind in chaotic or stressful situations.
2. Trusting Oneself
The stanza emphasizes the need to have self-confidence and trust in one’s own abilities and judgment, even in the face of doubt and skepticism from others.
3. Patience and Endurance
It highlights the virtue of waiting patiently without becoming tired or frustrated.
It suggests the importance of persevering and not giving up easily, even when faced with delays or obstacles.
4. Avoiding Dishonesty and Hatred
The stanza advises against resorting to lies or hatred, even when being lied about or facing hostility.
It encourages the reader to maintain their integrity and not stoop to the level of those who may mistreat them.
5. Humility and Modesty
It cautions against appearing too good or speaking with excessive wisdom. It suggests that while one should have confidence and knowledge, it is important to remain humble and not come across as arrogant or boastful.
Overall, stanza 4 of the poem “If” highlights the importance of maintaining resilience, trust in oneself, patience, integrity, and humility in the face of adversity.
It urges the reader to remain steadfast and virtuous, regardless of the actions and opinions of others.