Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old Man Strength, II.

About a month ago I wrote a post called "Old Man Strength." Without getting all literaturey on you it was about the strength that comes from age and maturity.

Lately a shit-storm has gathered over my head in the agency.

Hysterics and Messiah-complexes are fighting for control.

Panic is the order of the day.

In other words, this is yet another moment for Old Man Strength to emerge.

What will allay the panic, calm the seas, silence the quackers and so on, is not more sturm und drang.

No, what will prevail is doing it.

Putting aside the bullshit and the hysteria and the nonsense.

Putting your head down.

And working.

It's easy to get swept up in the on-rushing waves of fear-mongerers.

It's easy to second-guess your second guesses.

It's easy to perseverate and posture and point fingers.

But if a client is worth having, what will carry the day is the work.

Have the old man strength to block out the noise.

And do the job that needs to be done.

Or as Rudyard said it:

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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dave trott said...

That's a coincidence George.
Whenever my daughter is having a tough time, what helps her stay calm are the lines:
"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same."

george tannenbaum said...

Hi Dave,

I know Kipling, and people like him like Edgar A. Guest have, like Norman Rockwell, fallen out of favor, especially with the "cool kids."

That's too bad for those cool kids.