What do you want to do?

Admidst thesis, classes, pushing away and yet embracing the six-week homestretch until this last semester comes to an end, there was a very special moment last friday at Professor Bill Martel’s memorial.

His friends, family, students and colleagues shared light hearted stories about him and we heard that he was carrying a poem in this pocket every day. And I want to share this poem with you. To me, it describes moral, inner strength. It touched me. It touched me because nowadays I get the question “What do you want to do?” daily. Of course, the questions aims at what I want to do careerwise after Fletcher.

Career considerations were not the only ones that strove me to attend Fletcher. I wanted to have a space where I can improve, become a better version of myself – in every aspect of life. So, if you ask me what I really want to do in my life, I would say: I want to listen more than I talk. I want to be able to not take myself too seriously. I want to be independent, so that I can argue with the same moral no matter who I am talking to.

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!


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