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rudyard kipling

Explain one theme of the poem "If" in full details "If" by Rudyard Kipling


It seems to me that one of the overriding themes to the poem is the movement from childhood to adulthood.  The poem stresses the idea of presenting a series of test cases to assess whether this child has passed these benchmarks to move from child to adulthood.  The opening line helps to establish this, in that while others are enduring a loss of focus and discipline, the adult is the individual who can "keep" their head.  This opens a series of conditions where one can identify if they are acting as child or as an adult.  Enhanced by the idea of self trust, avoiding deception and hatred, the first stanza helps to bring these ideas to the forefront.  Such benchmarks are seen throughout the poem, as well, confirming the theme of passage from child to adult as critically important.

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