The Prophet, by poet-artist Kahlil Gibran. It was a curious mixture of inspirational prose and poetry. I was intrigued because what the author said resonated within me, even though I was too young to understand why.
Aside from The Holy Bible, it was my first high-octane encounter with wisdom - at a time when I really needed it! When my aunt noticed that I was absorbed in the book, she gave it to me. I have been on a journey in search of more wisdom ever since.
Kahlil Gibran was born in Lebanon in 1883. He immigrated with his family and studied art. The Prophet was first published in 1923, and was a best-seller in the 1960s. It remains in print to this day - one of the best-selling books of poetry of all time, exceeded only by Shakespeare and Lao-Tsu. Gibran died in 1931.
I didn't know then, of course, that most of what he was writing about was personal strength - how to live the kind of life that enables you to meet the challenges of life and work.
Here are my favorites...
COMPASSION - "Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution."
EFFORT - “Work is love made visible.”
FAITH - "Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking."
FRIENDSHIP - "Let your best be for your friend."
GRATITUDE - “I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes.”
INTEGRITY - "One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night."
LOVE - "If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were."
PASSION - “If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.”
RATIONALITY - “Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.”
RESPONSIBILITY - "We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them."
SELF-DEVELOPMENT - "Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge."
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .