“If” (yet another parody version)

The senior high youth group led the worship service at church today, and they used Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” as one of the readings. I remembered that my dad had a parody version of “If” written for engineers, and I thought: Why isn’t there a parody version of this old chestnut for Unitarian Universalist ministers and lay leaders? So I wrote one:


If you can keep your cool, and coexist,
When others want to argue, fight, and shout;
If you can handle humanist and theist,
Balancing your own belief and doubt;
If you can listen both to blame and praise,
And treat those two impostors both the same;
And read church bylaws with a steady gaze;
And work for common good and not just fame;
If you don’t break, but like the Tao you bend,
You’ll be a UU [minister] [lay leader], my friend!

Yes, I know “lay leader” doesn’t quite scan right. But I didn’t have time to write two completely different final couplets. Instead of complaining, why don’t you write a parody version of this poem?

2 thoughts on ““If” (yet another parody version)

  1. Dan

    Phil @ 1 — You write: “Thx Sean! I like the part about blame and praise both being imposters!”

    Um, Sean lives over there. Anyway. Neither Sean nor I gets credit for the line you like — that’s lifted straight out of Kipling’s original.

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