Bitterness and Tenderness

Well, there are two pieces of writing that have caught my attention recently. Get ready for a really long blog. If you want to, I mean. I wouldn’t tell you what to do.
The first is Rudyard Kipling’s “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 all 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!

–Rudyard Kipling

It’s totally impossible of course, and some of it doesn’t seem strictly necessary. But I’m not a man, so I guess I wouldn’t really know what’s necessary.
The second piece of a piece of writing is a portion of General Public’s “Tenderness”:

I don’t know when to start or when to stop
My luck’s like a button
I can’t stop pushing it
My head feels light
But I’m still in the dark
Seems like without tenderness there’s something missing
Tenderness

Where is the tenderness? Where is it?

I don’t know where I am but I know I don’t like it

I open my mouth and out pops something spiteful
Words are so cheap, but they can turn out expensive
Words like conviction can turn into a sentence
I held your hands
Rings but none on that finger
We danced and danced
But I was scared to go much further with it
Just half a chance
Make sure that one night you’re here,
But next night you’re not
It always leaves me searching for a little

For a somewhat obnoxious-sounding song, some of the lines are really something.

“I don’t know when to start or when to stop
My luck’s like a button
I can’t stop pushing it”

Me neither!

“I don’t know where I am but I know I don’t like it
I open my mouth and out pops something spiteful”

Me too!
Some people misconstrue every questionably-humourous joke I tell as bitter. I’m not bitter, but spiteful.

And spite can be good-humoured! It can!

Anyway, I’m tired.

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