Putting Away Cynicism


Rudyard Kipling

"God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers."

In a culture that values sarcasm, makes fun of every possible public figure, and disdains virtue, often the sacred trusts that have been held through out history, lose dignity and meaning. Rudyard Kipling was a man who was a champion of women, and especially mothers. He understood their impact on the next generation.

I find it unfortunate that basic virtues of goodness, graciousness, respect, honor, truth, humility,  are not valued or appreciated in our culture anymore. When people forget civility and the respect that is due every person created in the image of God, human beings are devalued and sacred relationships lose their value.

Crudity, bane words and humor often deprecate those values dear to the heart of Christ.

Facebook and the internet at large have given many the impression that anything can be said on facebook without accountability to manners, graciousness or decorum.

James tells us that we will all be held accountable for each of our words.

The composure and moral stature and values of a person is of great consequence in leadership throughout history. If we want our children to influence their culture for the sake of Christ in their lifetimes, we must teach them the value of honor, respect and service of others.

Training my children to have a sense of what it looked like to become most excellent for Christ and to uphold his reputation in all circumstances, led me to offer them many poems, verses and quotations to memorize. The treasure box of their minds are filled with stories of greatness, as well as words of wisdom and virtue. I know that the Holy Spirit can use these words over and over again during their life-time to remind them, inside their hearts, regardless of the values in the world, of what is true and what really matters. And these words can also call them to a high regard for integrity in their conduct and behavior in public and through their words.

Poems and psalms, however, have a special way of "sticking" in their minds and internal values. I made each of my children memorize this wonderful poem as a part of a family tradition. Each of my kids has told me that this poem, in particular,  has come to mind often when they were faced with trials, choices of conduct and times when they needed inner guidance to direct them in their conduct.

May we seek to build up a sense of strong virtue and value for what is true, in order to devalue the power of cynicism and sarcastic humor, which can destroy a respect for what is honorable and good.

I give you this poem to teach to your own families! Say it outloud each evening, one verse at a time. Discuss it. Give examples. This is a poem that will feed their souls forever!


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 (or woman), my son! (or my child)