My father gave me one memorable gift in my lifetime and it was Kahlil Gibran’s book “The Prophet.”

His story is inspiring, and for me, majestic.

With all the strife in the world right now, please embrace this post as not one of “taking sides,” rather with compassion for all those who are suffering right now.

Dr. Shawne

The Inspiring Story of Kahlil Gibran:

He was called “filthy” because his skin was dark, unintelligent because he could barely speak English. When he arrived in this country, he was placed in a special class for immigrants.

But, a few of his teachers saw something in the way he expressed himself, through his drawings. He would soon master English.

His mother made a difficult decision to take him, his two sisters and a half-brother to America, seeking a better life. They settled in Boston’s South End, at the time the second-largest Syrian-Lebanese-American community.

The family struggled. The young boy lost a sister and his half-brother to tuberculosis. His mother died of cancer.

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

He was born in poverty on January 6, 1883 in what is now modern day Lebanon.

His name was Kahlil Gibran, and he is primarily known for his book, “The Prophet.”

The book, published in 1923, has sold tens of millions of copies, making him the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi.

Published in 108 languages, passages from “The Prophet” are quoted at weddings, in political speeches and at funerals, inspiring influential figures such as John F. Kennedy, Indira Gandhi, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and David Bowie.

He was very outspoken, attacking hypocrisy and corruption. His books were burned in Beirut. In America, he received death threats.

Gibran was the only member of his family to pursue academia. His sisters were not allowed to enter school, primarily because of Middle Eastern traditions as well as financial difficulties.

Gibran, however, was inspired by the strength of the women in his family, especially his mother. After one sister, his mother, and his half-brother died, his other sister, Mariana would support Gibran and herself by working at a dressmaker’s shop.

Of his mother, he wrote: “The most beautiful word on the lips of mankind is the word ‘Mother,’ and the most beautiful call is the call of ‘My mother.’ It is a word full of hope and love, a sweet and kind word coming from the depths of the heart. The mother is everything – she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness.”

Gibran later championed the cause of women’s emancipation and education.

He believed that “Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being.”

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