Being philosophical, I’m always on the look out for quotes about life and who better than Lebanese-born Khalil Gibran, to inspire us with his poetic prose and philosophical essays. Maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe you haven’t. Khalil wrote more than fifteen books during his lifetime (1883-1931); his most famous being 'The Prophet,' written 8 years before his death. Khalil was actually an artist too and managed to produce some 700 portraits and sketches during his lifetime! Below are some of my favorite Khalil Gibran quotes about life that I truly admire and that really resonate with me.
Table of contents:
- know when to keep a secret
- work = love
- self-knowledge as art
- teaching expands our minds
- freedom from fashion
- our children are not our children
- live and die well
1 Know when to Keep a Secret
This has to be one of the most thought-provoking quotes about life that instills within us a simple truth. If we don’t want someone else to repeat, misinterpret or misrepresent what we’re saying, don’t say it at all. You'll only regret it later. I really love the imagery Khalil evokes between the wind and the trees. When I'm reminded of this quote, it helps me keep my thoughts to myself.
2 Work = Love
I’m hoping after reading this you don’t quit your job or start begging on the streets, but this quote does make you think, particularly if you’re unhappy in your job. Locate those topics that spark an interest and arouse passions. Then, research companies and industries based around those interests and passions. If you’re only working for the sake of working, life can leave you feeling really unsatisfied. Take time to figure out what makes you come alive.
3 Self-Knowledge as Art
This quote is an inspiring thought, isn’t it? Confronting ourselves and diving within can actually be a source of strength and wisdom. Each woman has to know herself, her problems, her patterns, her obstacles. We need to learn to take on an intelligent responsibility for our own personal development, so that our souls can grow and heal and we can become the masters of our destiny.
4 Teaching Expands Our Minds
This quote reminds me of my favorite teachers! Great teachers help us to think for ourselves, they push us to uncover our own intelligence that we never even knew we had. The best ones make things come alive for us, for they are there to help us uncover those stones that are already exist in our minds.
5 Freedom from Fashion
I love how pure and simple nature can be. If only we could walk around bare-footed. While it’s not really practical for many of us to walk around bare-footed, I still like the idea Khalil is portraying; "the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind." If only our lifestyles could be more in tune with nature. There’s a certain freedom in knowing that we’re here to live and work alongside nature, not against it.
6 Our Children Are Not Our Children
Such a beautiful way of articulating the fact that children ultimately do not belong to their parents in the traditional sense of the matter. We all belong in relationship to each other, yet we don’t own each other. This quote can stir up complicated emotions for some, as parents really can become too attached to their children, or they want what’s best for them, to the point of perfection. We are all children of the Universe and as such, we all belong to the ‘community’ of our Universe, just like the stars belong to each other and the wind belongs to the sky.
7 Live and Die Well
Khalil is telling us that life and death are in fact but one. "Trust your dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity." An awareness of our own mortality brings with it a preciousness in our day to day lives. We're all going to die, we just don’t know when! If we can directly experience this world (the sorrows and the joys), it’ll bring us to a place beyond our intellect and emotion.
I love the beauty and truthfulness captured in Khalil's poetic words. Which one of these quotes about life resonates with you?
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