My last week teaching in Azadpur, Delhi starts tomorrow morning. I really like this poem and I’m going to use it in class, hopefully it will inspire the kids to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their dreams.

Follow Your Dream by Amanda Bradley

Follow your dream.
Take one step at a time and don’t settle for less,
Just continue to climb.
Follow your dream.
If you stumble, don’t stop and lose sight of your goal
Press to the top.
For only on top can we see the whole view,
Can we see what we’ve done and what we can do;
Can we then have the vision to seek something new,
Press on.
Follow your dream.

Below is my grandfather’s favourite poem. From his first day of practice to his last, “If” by Rudyard Kipling hung on his surgery wall. I’ve always loved it too and I’d love to share it with the kids but it’s too complicated for them, so hopefully some of you can enjoy it instead.

If

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;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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Last Modified: August 11, 2013