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Quotes of the day: Khalil Gibran

Published Monday, January 06, 2014 @ 4:16 AM EST
Jan 06 2014

Khalil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese artist, poet, and writer chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A shy failure is nobler than an immodest success.

An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.

And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.

Every man is two men; one is awake in the darkness, the other asleep in the light.

Every man loves two women; the one is the creation of his imagination and the other is not yet born.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

Generosity is giving more than you can; pride is taking less than you need.

Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you.

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind, yet strangely, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

If it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.

It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created in years or even generations.

Let there be space in your togetherness.

Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

Money is like love; it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it, and it enlivens the other who turns it upon his fellow man.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.

Remembrance is a form of meeting. Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.

Should we all confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another for our lack of originality.

Some who are too scrupulous to steal your possessions nevertheless see no wrong in tampering with your thoughts.

The appearance of things change according to the emotions and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.

The lights of stars that were extinguished ages ago still reaches us. So it is with great men who died centuries ago, but still reach us with the radiations of their personalities.

The truly great man is he who would master no one, and who would be mastered by none.

We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-ful to seek other than itself.

Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their timelessness.

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

Would it not be more economical for the governments to build asylums for the sane instead of the demented?

Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.


(Today is also the birthday of Carl Sandburg)

Categories: Khalil Gibran, Quotes of the day


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