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I'm not sure what inspired it, but this morning, I woke up with Rudyard Kipling's poem, "If," in my head. Before you think I'm a literary genius (or just a pretentious snob), realize I know about two lines of this poem, and they're the same two lines you know. Anyway, I started thinking in terms of "If," and this is what came to mind today.


If you’re a Los Angeles Rams fan, congratulations because in my book, winning is never boring.


If you’re a Cincinnati Bengals, it still beats a three-win season, doesn’t it?


If you have a special person in your life, Happy Valentine’s Day.


If you don’t, it’s just another Monday. (Look on the bright side, you can keep that candy for yourself.)


If you’ve never had a root canal, I think they get a bad rap. (I had my first one last week, and it wasn't bad at all. Results may vary.)


If you’re wondering when (INSERT YOUR PRIMARY SOCIETAL/POLITICAL/ECONOMIC/ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN HERE) will get better, dust off your Magic 8-Ball. That might be as good a predictor as anything right now.


If you’re an Olympics fan, you have one week to take it all in, followed by several years of forgetting everything you just learned about sporting events you know next-to-nothing about.


If you think Super Bowl ads – and the hype around them – are completely overrated, my respect for you just rose.


If you’re still wondering why you’re getting unwanted phone calls even though you signed up for the “no-call list” years ago, just assume there never was a “no-call” list. Or maybe the “no-call list” was a scam in the first place. (I don’t believe that, but I’ve been wrong before.)


Speaking of being wrong, if you think you’re never wrong, you’re wrong. Fact is, if you think you’re never wrong, you’re probably wrong more often than most (or at least, an a**hole more often than most).


If you don’t like a movie/comedian/TV show/music artist or genre, etc. that most others do, that’s OK. It’s all subjective and we all have rights.


On the other hand, if someone doesn’t like a movie/comedian/TV show/music artist or genre, etc. you like, that’s OK too. (Because it’s all subjective and we all have rights.)


If you don’t understand wine or bourbon, join the 99.9993% of the public who are in the same boat (coincidentally, it’s the same percentage of folks who don’t understand most Olympic sports).


If you’re tired of phrases that include “supply chain,” “great resignation,” “new normal,” “crypto,” “Elon Musk/Jeff Bezos,” etc., you’re not alone. (Yawn.)


If you’re still adhering to your New Year’s resolution, good for you (unless it was something like “Eat more” or “Treat people like s**t.”)


If you’re not (still adhering to your New Year’s resolution), that’s cool. Just be happy.


In fact, screw all this. Just be happy … if you can. It’s better than the alternative.


******


By the way, If you're interested in Kipling's original, here it is, and frankly, it's longer, better-crafted and so much more meaningful than the B.S. you just endured above (pardon the dated words, phrasing and gender references; the guy wrote this, like, 17,000 years ago):


"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 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!


© 2022 David R. Haznaw

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