IF …… (RUDYARD KIPLING)

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!
RUDYARD KIPLING

A maratime myth?

Radio exchange between Galicians and Americans Date Oct 16th 1997.

Galician: A-853 speaking, please change course 15 degrees southwards to avoid collision. You are heading directly for us, distance 25 sea miles.

American: We advise you to change your course by 15 degrees northwards to avoid collision.
Galician: Negative. We repeat: Change your course by 15 degrees to south to avoid a collision.
American: This is the captain of a united states navy ship speaking. Change your course immediately by 15 degrees to north to avoid a collision.
Galician: We do not think that is either possible or necessary: we advise you to change 15 degrees southwards to avoid a collision
American: (agitated by now): Captain Richard James Howard speaking, commander of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln of the United States Navy. The is the second largest battleship of the North American fleet; we are being escorted by two battlecruisers, six destroyers, five cruisers, four submarines and a number of other ships ready to support us at any time. We are heading for the Persian Gulf for manoeuvres. I don’t advise you, I order you to change course 15 degrees northwards!
Galician: Juan Manuel Salas Alcantara speaking. We are two people. We are escorted by our dog, our food, two beers and a canary, currently asleep. We have support from the transmitters Cadena Dial of La Coruna, and Channel 106 for putting out maritime distress signals. We are not heading anywhere, since we are situated in Lighthouse Finisterre A-853 on the Galacian Coast!