To our Corps of Cadets,
Greeting from campus! I miss you and am praying for you.
This is a challenging year with COVID, switching from on-campus to distance education for part of the 3rd Term, being at home and missing friends, sports, and activities on campus.
We can be crushed by the weight of uncertainty and worry, or we can change, adapt and overcome. God wants us to be overcomers.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
- Philippians 4:6.
I once heard someone say that “IF” is the central word in "LIFE."
So, what about "if?" There is a lot involved in that little word, "if."
Rudyard Kipling wrote an entire poem based around the word "if," and you may have heard it or read it before. Rudyard Kipling was a very popular writer, and you may have seen movies like "The Jungle Book" or "Mowgli" that were based on his children's books. But in "If," his most popular poem, Kipling wrote about the big consequences that are related to how you deal with the "ifs" in your life.
I suggest that you read this poem three times. Read it once to yourself. Read it aloud the second time. The third time, read it aloud...and believe 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!
Cadets, press on doing good. I believe in you. I am praying for each one of you, by name.
God bless you.
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy