Tag Archive: rudyard kipling


Last night a small group of us gathered at a friend’s house for a bit of a farewell celebration.

Our buddy JT Burns was leaving the state of California and heading home for new adventures and possibilities.

So there we were, a small group of us huddled around an outside fire pit, drinking beer and eating chips and marshmallows and just enjoying our friend Jon.

Then at one point, Nate suggested we share some fun and meaningful Jon stories and so we took turns to remember Jon out loud – how we’d met, where a good connection had been, what he meant to us. Out mutual appreciation of Doctor Who. And so on.

My friend Darin was at that gathering and he is so great at pressing pause on an event and asking a good question or creating a space for meaningful sharing and dialogue.

My wife, tbV, is really good at that as well.

And i think i have been learning from both of them over the last few years and a getting better.

A large part of it for me comes from this idea of really making life count, which i wrote about a few days ago… How do we seize a moment that might otherwise be fairly ordinary or even good, and elevate it to greatness.

How do we create spaces to say the things we want to say to people before they leave or die?

Are we intentional about creating moments of true celebration or meaning within our gatherings?

i know that’s something Val and i have been trying to do with our Conversation Dinners and even simple practices like the phone basket and we have been seeing some significant encounters as a result.

What are some of the practices you engage in or have experienced that help make a moment or a gathering significant for those who are there?  What is something you have thought about but not yet been brave enough to try?

wordz[To read more about our last Conversation Dinner & responses from the people who were there, click here]

well, actually, this pome is titled ‘If’ but po-tay-to, po-tah-to… my wife linked to this the other day and i remembered what a powerful read it was… hope you enjoy [especially if this is your first time… and it works for women too by the way!]

‘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!’

Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)

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