On the Fourth of July in 2020

My thoughts in these troubled times are sober and sobering ones. Ours is a period in history fraught with peril and uncertainty. But it has been in such times as these that our faith has rekindled itself. The world is always fragile, always closer than most realize to collapsing into chaos. But when events bring this perennial state of affairs into our awareness, we are encouraged to see it as an opportunity to revive our faith and our courage. In that spirit, and with my sincere gratitude for your interest in the work of the Cornerstone Forum, allow me to offer for our reflection these two familiar stanzas from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, 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:

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