This is my tattered and well used copy of Kahlil Gibran‘s The Prophet. I’ve had this book since 1995, not that long as far as book ownership goes but as anyone can see by its condition, it’s well used. It stays near my bed, close at hand for the times I may need a little advice, words to get me back on the right path. Some have their bible, I have this.
The Prophet was given to me by a lifelong and very good friend at a time when reading the label on a soup can was about as much reading as I could absorb. Considering its source I knew this was a book I needed to ‘work on’. Each night I would read a bit, maybe the introduction, the front cover, the back cover, the introduction one more time, it seemed so difficult. I would begin again the next night, reading the same things over again. This went on for a several weeks, hard to understand, there are times our minds are that numb. Absorbing anything of value isn’t possible. Eventually a few phrases made sense so I kept on. It was a long process.
This book, along with a handful of friends and some professional help gave me the strength and ability to find a purpose, a reason for each day, reasons for what living really is. It explained where I might be self-serving, what it meant to give of myself, to truly not be selfish, to love my family, a husband, a partner, to suffer and feel pain with dignity, how high joy may soar. All chapters all of Gibran’s thoughts on life, love, death, children, friendship meant something to me. I’ve read and re read this book more times than I care to count, and I will continue to. I’ve given this book as a gift to many people, for many reasons. Sometimes a death in a family, a new baby, a relationship problem, a marriage, countless reasons. It is a book written as a view of life, one that I find ‘religion’, my religion. This is my opinion of this writing, the book has been published a very long time and still sells countless copies in many forms.
I am not a fan of ‘self help‘ books, they often give ‘us’ permission to behave poorly and not be responsible, this book doesn’t do that. This is not-self help, this is a way of life. I’ve used the passages in my marriage vows and I’ve repeated them to friends many times over the years I’ve come to appreciate and find the value In Kahlil Gibran’s writing. Do give it a read; its not meant as an entertaining book, or read at one sitting, its meant to read absorbing each topic, each chapter with an attempt to understand all it’s passages and thoughts. Hopefully if you need direction or strength, encouragement or simply a fresh view living your life, you will find this a book to love as I do. And I thank my dear friend who gave me my tattered copy 🙂 I believe her’s is as well used as mine.