The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
“His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life else it could not have been so universal and so potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own.” — Claude Bragdon
*He is today celebrated as a literary hero but is considered a political and literary rebel in the Arab world.
*He is best known in America for his book of essays The Prophet, which is thought of as early inspirational fiction. The book was first warmly received but gained in popularity in the 1930s and continued its popularity well into the 1960′s.
*Gibran had many other talents as well, he was a painter, writer, Poet, theologian, and sculptor just to name a few and considered just as successful in those genres as well.
Since it was published in 1923, The Prophet has never been out of print. The perennial classic has been translated into more than 50 languages and is a staple on international best-seller lists. It is thought to have sold tens of millions of copies.
Although practically ignored by the literary establishment in the West, lines from the book have inspired song lyrics, political speeches and have been read out at weddings and funerals all around the world.
“It serves various occasions or big moments in one’s life so it tends to be a book that is often gifted to a lover, or for a birth, or death. That is why it has spread so widely, and by word of mouth,” says Dr Mohamed Salah Omri, lecturer in Modern Arabic literature at Oxford University.
The Beatles, John F Kennedy and Indira Gandhi are among those who have been influenced by its words.
“This book has a way of speaking to people at different stages in their lives. It has this magical quality, the more you read it the more you come to understand the words,” says Reverend Laurie Sue, an interfaith minister in New York who has conducted hundreds of weddings with readings from The Prophet.
“But it is not filled with any kind of dogma, it is available to anyone whether they are Jewish or Christian or Muslim.”
The book is made up of 26 prose poems, delivered as sermons by a wise man called Al Mustapha. He is about to set sail for his homeland after 12 years in exile on a fictional island when the people of the island ask him to share his wisdom on the big questions of life: love, family, work and death.
Its popularity peaked in the 1930s and again in the 1960s when it became the bible of the counter culture.
On marriage: “Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.”
On children: ”Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.”
On beauty: ”Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”
“Many people turned away from the establishment of the Church to Gibran,” says Professor Juan Cole, historian of the Middle East at the University of Michigan who has translated several of Gibran’s works from Arabic.
“He offered a dogma-free universal spiritualism as opposed to orthodox religion, and his vision of the spiritual was not moralistic. In fact, he urged people to be non-judgmental.”
Despite the immense popularity of his writing, or perhaps because of it, The Prophet was panned by many critics in the West who thought it simplistic, naive and lacking in substance.
“In the West, he was not added to the canon of English literature,” says Cole. “Even though his major works were in English after 1918, and though he is one of bestselling poets in American history, he was disdained by English professors.”
“He was looked down upon as, frankly, a ‘bubblehead’ by Western academics, because he appealed to the masses. I think he has been misunderstood in the West. He is certainly not a bubblehead, in fact his writings in Arabic are in a very sophisticated style.
“There is no doubt he deserves a place in the Western canon. It is strange to teach English literature and ignore a literary phenomenon.”
Gibran was a painter as well as a writer by training and was schooled in the symbolist tradition in Paris in 1908. He mixed with the intellectual elite of his time, including figures such as WB Yeats, Carl Jung and August Rodin, all of whom he met and painted.
Symbolists such as Rodin and the English poet and artist William Blake, who was a big influence on Gibran, favoured romance over realism and it was a movement that was already passe in the 1920s as modernists such as TS Eliot and Ezra Pound were gaining popularity.
He painted more than 700 pictures, watercolours and drawings but because most of his paintings were shipped back to Lebanon after his death, they have been overlooked in the West.
Professor Suheil Bushrui, who holds the Kahlil Gibran chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland, compares Gibran to the English Romantics such as Shelley and Blake, and he says that like Gibran, Blake was dismissed in his own time.
“He was called ‘mad Blake’. He is now a major figure in English literature. So the fact that a writer is not taken seriously by the critics is no indication of the value of the work”.
In Lebanon, where he was born, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.
His style, which broke away from the classical school, pioneered a new Romantic movement in Arabic literature of poetic prose.
A poet’s life
- Born to Maronite Catholic family in Lebanon, 1883
- Moves to US aged 12 with mother and siblings after father imprisoned for embezzlement
- Settles in South Boston’s Lebanese community
- Clerical error at school registers his name as Kahlil, not Khalil
- He was a talented pupil and came to the attention of local artist and photographer Fred Holland Day
- Returns to Lebanon at 15 to study Arabic
- Soon after, he lost his mother, sister and brother to TB and cancer within months of each other
- Back in the US in 1904, he meets Mary Haskell
- In 1908, goes to Paris for two years to study art in the symbolist school
- First book of poetry published in 1918, then The Prophet five years later
- Dies in 1931 from cirrhosis of the liver and TB
- Inspires a play Rest Upon the Wind, which tours UK and Middle East in 2012
“We are talking about a renaissance in modern Arabic literature and this renaissance had at its foundation Gibran’s writings,” says Professor Suheil Bushrui, who holds the Kahlil Gibran Chair for Values and Peace at the University of Maryland.
In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a rebel, both in a literary and political sense. He emigrated to the US at 12 but returned to study in Lebanon three years later where he witnessed injustices suffered by peasants at the hands of their Ottoman rulers.
“He was a Christian but he saw things being done in the name of Christianity which he could not accept,” says Bushrui.
In his writing, he raged against the oppression of women and the tyranny of the Church and called for freedom from Ottoman rule.
“What he was doing was revolutionary and there were protests against it in the Arab world,” says Juan Cole. “So he is viewed in Arabic literature as an innovator, not dissimilar to someone like WB Yeats in the West.”
Motivate Yourself Daily
factor in achieving your success, at some point in time, in the same
instance discouragement and lack of motivation may hinder you from
reaching your objective.
techniques within you that will help you to stay motivated, focused
matter what you are working on, visualize daily. It can be something
as simple as taking a vacation or buying a new car or anything that
you have been desiring for a long period of time.
worked well for many people is to post a picture of what it is that
you desire and place it in a conspicuous place at home or at work
where it is visible to you and you can see it ofter. This daily
reminder will help you stay encouraged and will help to keep the
spotlight on your goal.
a contract with yourself. Research has shown that people who write
down their to -do-lists are far more successful in achieving goals
than those who try to keep a mental list which can easily disappear.
How to Become an Ideal Leader
When you are at work, do you get frustrated because things don’t seem to be happening the way they’re supposed to be? You see people milling around but nothing gets accomplished. And in the daily hustle and bustle, do you feel that your goals remain just that – goals. Then maybe its time for you to stand up and do something about it.
Most people are content just to stand around listening for orders. And it isn’t unusual to adopt a follow-the-leader mentality. But maybe, somewhere inside of you, you feel the desire to make things happen – to be the head, not the tail. Then maybe leadership just suits you fine.
Some people believe that great leaders are made, not born. Yes, it may be true that some people are born with natural talents. However, without practice, without drive, without enthusiasm, and without experience, there can be no true development in leadership.
You must also remember that good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their natural skills. This takes a commitment to constantly improve in whatever endeavor a person chooses.
First of all, let’s define leadership. To be a leader, one must be able to influence others to accomplish a goal, or an objective. He contributes to the organization and cohesion of a group.
Contrary to what most people believe, leadership is not about power. It is not about harassing people or driving them using fear. It is about encouraging others towards the goal of the organization. It is putting everyone on the same page and helping them see the big picture of the organization. You must be a leader not a boss.
First of all, you have to get people to follow you. How is this accomplished?
People follow others when they see a clear sense of purpose. People will only follow you if they see that you know where you are going. Remember that bumper sticker? The one that says, don’t follow me, I’m lost too? The same holds true for leadership. If you yourself do not know where you’re headed to, chances are people will not follow you at all.
You yourself must know the vision of the organization. Having a clear sense of hierarchy, knowing who the bosses are, who to talk to, the organization’s goals and objectives, and how the organization works is the only way to show others you know what you are doing.
Being a leader is not about what you make others do. It’s about who you are, what you know, and what you do. You are a reflection of what you’re subordinates must be.
Studies have shown that one other bases of good leadership is the trust and confidence your subordinates have of you. If they trust you they will go through hell and high water for you and for the organization.
Trust and confidence is built on good relationships, trustworthiness, and high ethics.
The way you deal with your people, and the relationships you build will lay the foundation for the strength of your group. The stronger your relationship, the stronger their trust and confidence is in your capabilities.
Once you have their trust and confidence, you may now proceed to communicate the goals and objectives you are to undertake.
Communication is a very important key to good leadership. Without this you can not be a good leader. The knowledge and technical expertise you have must be clearly imparted to other people.
Also, you can not be a good leader and unless you have good judgment. You must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of any decision, and actively seek out a solution.
It is this judgment that your subordinates will come to rely upon. Therefore, good decision-making is vital to the success of your organization.
Leaders are not do-it-all heroes. You should not claim to know everything, and you should not rely upon your skills alone.
You should recognize and take advantage of the skills and talents your subordinates have. Only when you come to this realization will you be able to work as one cohesive unit.
Remember being a leader takes a good deal of work and time. It is not learned overnight. Remember, also, that it is not about just you. It is about you and the people around you.
So, do you have the drive and the desire to serve required of leaders? Do you have the desire to work cooperatively with other people? Then start now. Take your stand and be leader today.
Here Are 10 Ways To Take Back Control Of Your Life!
** Record Tracking
At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and a lack of self discipline have nothing in common and
have nothing to do with one another. That could not be further from the truth. Many of us who lack focus and find
it difficult to concentrate develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges
and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it difficult for us to manage our
lives, take control of our challenges and move forward in a positive direction.
Practicing positive thinking skills allow people who cannot focus concentrate on strengths and
accomplishments, which increases motivation. The ability to focus allow us to spend more time making
progress, and less time feeling stuck in the trenches.
These Positive Thinking Tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift gears into more
positive thinking patterns:
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
It’s much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.
2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
Stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are
right in life and the things that you are most greatful for.
Take out 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things in life, you will begin to see what difference the
short exercise will make.
3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but
our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member’s bad mood is due to something
you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask
them. Don’t waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to
4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner “You’re ALWAYS late!” or complained to a friend “You NEVER call me!”? Thinking
and speaking in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your
brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.
5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can’t hold any power over you if you don’t judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative
thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it.
6. Squash the “ANTS”
In his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” – Automatic Negative
Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like “Those people are laughing, they must be
talking about me,” or “The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!” When you notice these thoughts, realize that
they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!
7. Practice Lovin’, Touchin’ & Squeezin’ (Your Friends and Family)
You don’t have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved
ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of
her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than
from the ones she didn’t touch!
8. Increase Your Social Activity
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their
positive energy will affect you in a positive way!
9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person
Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more
positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.
10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination
If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It’s never productive, because it’s not rational or solution-oriented, it’s just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment – go for a
walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.
When it comes to the corporate world, protocol is pretty much the religion. To know the things needed to do are
the basics of productivity, but interaction and having a steady mind makes up the entire thing to true
productivity. There are those who seem to work well even under pressure, but they’re uncommon ones and we are human and imperfect.
To get these little things like stress under our skins won’t solve our problems.
Lastly, Just Get Out Of Your Own Way! Focus on the Great Things In Life and Concentrate On Achieving Your
Goals and Dreams……Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to admit that we’re turning to be workaholics than tell
ourselves that we’re not doing our best.
AS A MAN THINKETH
Improve Your Self-Esteem With These Proven Hints
You should become determined to improve your life by improving your self esteem and you will be on your way to achieving great things.
Do not let low self esteem ruin your life. The way you think about yourself determines how you interact with others and how well you achieve your goals in life.
Listed below are some examples of how a low esteem can affect your mind and subsequently determine how others perceive you.
1. Nothing you do seems to go right
2. You believe that most people do not like you.
3. You believe that you are not attractive.
4. You choose something and it turns out to be the worst one.
5. You are afraid to converse with others for fear that what you say might not make sense.
6. You feel swallowed up in a whirlpool of frustration.
What’s wrong with you? Your thoughts, actually.
Stop thinking that the world is closing in on you. You should get determined to achieve what you desire. Stop blaming other people for your misfortunes. The world is not your problem, you are your own problem. From this moment on, begin the process of self esteem improvement. Think the right way and be determined to win, and win you will. Just remember that success never comes easily and that is why determination is its counterpart.
Oftentimes, one gets to the brink of success and with just a little disappointment or setback, they lose heart and give up too easily and too soon. A surefire candidate to low self esteem improvement. Who knows what great things might have been achieved if only they had persevered.
Without a high self esteem, your life could be rather boring. Change your thinking and begin to see yourself on top of the world. Make a very special effort to be what you really want to be.
You have to seriously decide either to remain in a miserable state of low self esteem, or acquire self esteem improvement and develop a high self esteem with good character and self image.
The origin of low self esteem.
A low self esteem could have begun way back in childhood when children are made to believe that they are worthless. Their self confidence is eroded and they succumb to the idea that they can never achieve success in
Anything that they did was for nought. They were picked on, teased, pushed around, called ugly names, and treated with disdain. Because of this treatment they eventually grew up to be full of resentment.
If that was your experience, it is time you cut yourself loose from that mindset and do self esteem improvement. Start reading about the life of successful persons and you will soon discover that many of them had such low self esteem that they could not even complete an elementary education.
Many decided to override their low self esteem and improve their attitude, whatever it took. Just let it go, I know that it wont be easy but you have to in order to move forward. Besides you were not the only one to have had negative experiences in life, many of us have. Dont be fooled by thinking that everyone else had a pie in the sky life. It aint so!
Do not forget that many who have started life in poor negative situations have gone on to become some of the greatest men and women that ever lived. And you can too!
Low self esteem has never helped anyone else and it sure will not help you. It can only drive you into depression, anger, grudge, fear and all the other evils that it generates. Do not let your mind drift away from what you need to do to bring about a change in your life. Beat the odds!
Re-program your thinking and control your state of mind. You must believe that you are worth much more than you think or you will remain at the foot of the ladder and never make an attempt to climb it.
Do not waste your life away with feelings of inadequacies. Instead, think of ways to go about self esteem improvement. Success is yours, just reach out and grasp it. Do not worry your life away, “Rise above worry and seize your success!