Wednesday, March 5, 2014


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Below is one of my favorite poems. It has helped me weather many of life's storms. These past three weeks have been devastating to many of you. My heart and prayers go out to you-


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!

 by Rudyard Kipling

If Vladimir Putin want to be seen as a great man in history, he will remove his troops from Crimea this weekend and apologize. If he is not a great man, but only a scared little boy who cannot admit that he made a mistake, he will keep his troops there. The choice is his as to how his name will be regarded. It takes a man to admit his mistakes. So, Mr. Putin, what will it be? The economy of Russia is slowly dying. Will you continue to play war games?

 The most widely used word in history is IF-

1 used when talking about something that might happen or be true, or might have happened:
We'll stay at home if it rains.
If you need money, I can lend you some.
If I didn't apologize I'd feel guilty.
If you had worked harder, you would have passed your exams.
What would happen to your family if you were to die in an accident?
If Dad were here, he would know what to do.
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if necessary.
I want to get back by five o'clock if possible.
I think I can fix it tomorrow. If not, you'll have to wait till Friday.
Is the book available, and if so where?
The missiles can be fired only if the operator types in a six-digit code.
We'll face that problem if and when it comes along (=if it happens or when it happens).
If by any chance you can't manage dinner tonight, perhaps we can at least have a drink together.
see usage note unless
2 used to mention a fact, situation, or event that someone asks about, or is not certain about:
He stopped to ask me if I was all right.
I don't know if what I am saying makes any sense.
I doubt if anyone will remember me.
I'm not sure if this is the right road or not.
3 used to mention a type of event or situation when talking about what happens on occasions of that type:
If I go to bed late I feel dreadful in the morning.
Plastic will melt if it gets too hot.
4 used when saying what someone's feelings are about a possible situation:
You don't seem to care if I'm tired.
I'm sorry if I upset you.
It would be nice if we could spend more time together.
5 spoken used when making a polite request:
I wonder if you could help me.
I'd be grateful if you would send me further details.
Would you mind if I open a window?
If you would just wait for a moment, I'll try to find your papers.
6 used when you are adding that something may be even more, less, better, worse etc than you have just said:
Brian rarely, if ever, goes to bed before 3 am.
Their policies have changed little, if at all, since the last election.
Her needs are just as important as yours, if not more so.
The snow was now two feet deep, making it difficult, if not impossible, to get the car out.

even if

used to emphasize that, although something may happen or may be true, it will not change a situation:
I wouldn't tell you even if I knew.
Even if she survives, she'll never fully recover.

if anything

used when adding a remark that changes what you have just said or makes it stronger:
It's warm enough here in London. A little too warm, if anything.
9 spoken used during a conversation when you are trying to make a suggestion, change the subject, or interrupt someone else:
If I might just make a suggestion, I think that the matter could be easily settled with a little practical demonstration.
If I could just take one example to illustrate this.

if I were you

spoken used when giving advice and telling someone what you think they should do:
I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.

if only

a) used to express a strong wish, especially when you know that what you want cannot happen:
If only he had talked to her sooner!
If only I weren't so tired!
b) used to give a reason for something, although you think it is not a good one:
Media studies is regarded as a more exciting subject, if only because it's new.
12 used to say that although something may be true, it is not important:
If he has a fault at all, it is that he is too generous.
Her only problem, if you can call it a problem, is that she expects to be successful all the time.
13 used when adding one criticism of a person or thing that you generally like:
The eldest son was highly intelligent, if somewhat lazy.
Lunch was a grand if rather noisy affair.

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