I have to start off by saying that this is my favorite poem of all time! I think if we could strive to do even half the things he mentions in the poem, we would be far better people. There are so many lessons to be learned from the poem. Let’s analyze them in the hopes that we can come close to meeting their expectations.
The first section of the poem, in my opinion, is about being true to one’s self. There are always going to be people who think differently than you, or misjudge you for one reason or another. I think the poem is saying that we need to rise above this, and do what we know is right and just. Don’t let others provoke you into actions you know are wrong. Know the value of your self worth, but don’t become conceited.
The second section is about overcoming obstacles that get in your path, whether by others, or of your own making. Follow your dreams, but be realistic in the approach. I believe this section is teaching perseverance, to keep going, even when things get rough.
I believe the most important lesson in the third section is to never give up! It is truly hard to get back up after life has beaten you into the ground. It can be done though, if we always believe in ourselves and know that we did it once so we can do it again! This is a very important lesson, and one that we all should take to heart. Kipling knew how hard life can sometimes be, and I think this section of the poem is full of hope for all of us.
The last section has two important lessons. First, that we are all equal. Don’t put yourself above anyone else, but know that you are just as good as everyone else. There are things to be admired in almost everyone if you look hard enough. The second lesson I take from this section, is to never waste time. Make every minute of every day count!
These are certainly lofty standards, but one’s that we should try our best to attain. Read the poem, and really pay attention to what it’s saying. See if you are doing all of the positive things he describes. If not, work on it. I believe this poem is a road map to life, and we just have to learn to read the signs.