Kahlil Gibran's Inspiring Quotes

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

The Beginning -

Born in 1883, Kahlil Gibran quotes hold as much meaning and sentiment now, as they did through his entire forty-eight year lifetime.

Born in Lebanon to an extremely poor family, Gibran received nothing in the way of a formal education during his early years. Gibran names the importance of his family's priests, who, he quotes as “having an exceptional influence” on him.

These same priests taught a young Gibran everything he wanted to know about the bible, as well as the Syriac and Arabic languages.

Gibran's father, who had once been well thought of in the field of apothecary, was jailed in 1891 for embezzlement after getting into trouble with gambling debts. It is this event, Kahlil Gibran quotes as being the catalyst for his mother's decision to move herself and her children to America.
The move took place, despite Gibran's father's release from prison just before and the family settled in a Lebanese-Syrian-American community in Boston. Despite being placed in “special” education, a programme designed for immigrants who had had little to no previous education, Gibran was keen to learn.

As well as attending class, he enrolled himself in art school off his own back.

Kahlil Gibran says what happened next was a huge turning point in his life and one that was to design the course he would eventually take.
Gibran met Boston publisher, artist and photographer Fred Holland Day. A pleasant,affable man, he encouraged Gibran to be creative and was particularly supportive of his art. Quotes by Kahlil Gibran from around that time suggest Holland Day was responsible for Gibran's first artwork sales.

His mother was still a huge influence on his life, and when she decided her children needed to be more involved with their own culture he gladly followed the family back to Lebanon. Over the passing years,Gibran attended a prep school and a well-to-do higher education institute in Beirut. As well as being something of a poet, Gibran loved to write and was heavily involved in the student-produced literary magazine at the institute.

Several Kahlil Gibran quotes indicate he had always wanted to return to America, although his return in 1902 was believed to be because his sister, brother and mother all died within a relatively short time of each other. Boston offered a familiar comfort for Gibran and his one remaining sister, so they returned – for what would be a very different second chance.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to realize that faith is his twin brother”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Love and Doubt are not on speaking terms”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“You cannot laugh and be unkind at the same time”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Your daily life is your temple and your religion.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

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

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“One's own religion is after all a matter between oneself and one's Maker and no one else's.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

Career and Achievements-

Many quotations by Kahlil Gibran concentrate on the importance of having faith, even when you really doubt yourself or your ability.

This is possibly because he struggled to have faith in his own ability, especially when it came to his art. Despite being an accomplished artist in watercolor and drawing -Gibran had studied at one of the most prestigious art colleges in Paris. He still could not accept he was exceptionally good at what he did.

His first exhibition took place in 1904 and was a resounding success. It was also around about this time that he found an editor and his writing was also recognised in its own right. Quotations by Kahlil Gibran recognised the huge influence of friends, Mary Elisabeth Haskell and Youssef Howayek had on his success.

Kahlil Gibran quotes and early writings were all written in Arabic, in fact it wasn't until 1918 that his writing appeared in English for the first time. One of Gibran's most famous pieces of work is a collection of parables called “The Madman”.

Kahlil Gibran never strayed too far from his first love, poetry and many of his pieces are responsible for some of the more spiritual quotes attributed to Gibran. Gibran was a huge part of the New York Pen League, a group designed essentially for immigrant poets.

You can read more about Kahlil Gibran and his books here.

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“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. ”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“To belittle, you have to be little.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

Critics and Controversy

As far as is known, Kahlil Gibran had no critics and if he did, they were almost certainly not considered important enough to note.
In fact, Kahlil Gibran was extremely well thought of and virtually everyone who spent time in his presence agreed he was a warm, pleasant and talented individual.

Kahlil Gibran quotes his life as being a relatively happy one, although he is quick to point out he had more opportunity come his way then most. Gibran was not a controversial figure and quotations by Kahlil Gibran were not designed to stir up controversy or debate.

Yet, after he died, he did manage to cause something of a controversy when it was revealed that his life-long friend Mary Elizabeth Haskell was actually his lover. Unable to reveal the truth to her conservative family, Haskell is believed to have turned down at least two marriage proposals from Gibran. Only a select few people knew of the pair's love and, once the information was made public knowledge, they were described as a loving couple who only had eyes for each other.
Many of Gibran's most inspiring quotes were no doubt influenced by the fact he could not be open about how he felt about such an important person.

“Beauty is eternity, gazing at itself in the mirror”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you can not bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“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.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself...
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

The End

Kahlil Gibran died from tuberculosis in 1931, aged just 48-years of age.

Gibran had informed Mary Haskell and his sister that in the event of his death, he wished to be buried in Lebanon. This wish was granted when Haskell purchased the Mar Sarkis Monastery – where Gibran was laid to rest.
There is a famous Kahlil Gibran quote etched into the stone around the entrance to the monastery- it reads
“a word I want to see written on my grave: I am alive like you and I am standing beside you. Close your eyes, look around and you will see me.”

Gibran's work is now more popular than ever, especially his artwork,which has been used as cover work from everything from children's books to personal development guides.

Having willed everything he owned to Mary Haskell, she was shocked to find a vast amount of letters between the pair- letters that spanned two decades. Before her death in 1962, she donated them to the University of North Carolina and excerpts of the letters were subsequently printed in a book called “Beloved Prophet”.

Kahlil Gibran quotes are now commonly used in church sermons and educational lessons across the world. Many of the most popular self help quotes and personal development quotes can also be attributed to Gibran.

“I am not a politician, nor do I wish to become one”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.”

~ Kahlil Gibran ~

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