More from and about
Khalil Gibran
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

They deem me mad because
I will not sell my days for gold;
and I deem them mad because
they think my days have a price.

   

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. 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. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
  
  
Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

      
Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' Say not, ' I have found the path of the soul.' Say rather, 'I have met the soul walking upon my path.' For the soul walks upon all paths.  The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
  
One day you will ask me which is more important?  My life or yours?  I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.
  
  
The timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.
   

You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.

     

I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant,
and kindness from the unkind. I should not be ungrateful to these teachers.

   

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Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.

   

I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance
from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind.
I should not be ungrateful to these teachers.

   

They say: 'If one knew oneself, one would know all mankind.'
I say: 'If one loved mankind, one would know something of oneself.'

   

    
Gibran Khalil Gibran was born on January 6, 1883, in Northern Lebanon, a Turkish province that was part of Greater Syria.  His mother Kamila Rahmeh was thirty when she gave birth to Khalil from her third husband Khalil Gibran, who proved to be an irresponsible husband leading the family to poverty.  Gibran had a half-brother six years older than him called Peter and two younger sisters, Mariana and Sultana, whom he was deeply attached to throughout his life, along with his mother. Growing up in the lush region of Bsharri, Gibran proved to be a solitary and pensive child who relished the natural surroundings of the cascading falls, the rugged cliffs and the neighboring green cedars, the beauty of which emerged as a dramatic and symbolic influence to his drawings and writings.  He did not receive any formal education or learning, which was limited to regular visits to a village priest who taught him the essentials of religion and the Bible, along with Syriac and Arabic languages.  Recognizing Gibran's inquisitive and alert nature, the priest began teaching him the rudiments of alphabet and language, opening up to Gibran the world of history, science, and language.

At the age of eight, Gibran's father was accused of tax evasion and was sent to prison and the Ottomon authorities confiscated the Gibrans' property and left them homeless.  The family went to live with relatives for a while; however, the strong-willed mother decided that the family should emigrate to the U.S., seeking a better life.  The father was released in 1894, but being an irresponsible head of the family he was undecided about emigration and remained behind in Lebanon.

On June 25, 1895, the Gibrans embarked on a voyage to the American shores of New York.

At  school, a registration mistake altered Gibranís name forever by shortening (and misspelling) it to Kahlil Gibran, which remained unchanged the rest of his life despite repeated attempts at restoring his full name.  Gibran entered school on September 30, 1895, merely two months after his arrival in the U.S.  Having no formal education, he was placed in an ungraded class reserved for immigrant children, who had to learn English from scratch.

Gibran's curiosity led him to the cultural side of Boston, which exposed him to the rich world of the theatre, opera and artistic galleries.  Prodded by the cultural scenes around him and through his artistic drawings, Gibran caught the attention of his teachers at the public school, who saw an artistic future for the boy. They contacted Fred Holland Day, an artist and a supporter of artists who opened up Gibran's cultural world and set him on the road to artistic fame.

Gibran's works were especially influential in the American popular culture in the 1960s.  In 1904 Gibran had his first art exhibition in Boston .  From 1908 to 1910 he studied art in Paris with August Rodin.  In 1912 he settled in New York, where he devoted himself to writing and painting.  Gibran's early works were written in Arabic, and from 1918 he published mostly in English.   Gibran died in New York on April 10, 1931. Among his best-known works is The Prophet, which has been translated into over 20 languages.
(adapted from Wikipedia)
  

    

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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.

           

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Khalil Gibran Leo Buscaglia - Leonard Jacobson - Leslie Levine - Lucinda Bassett
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