“Love for Living”

“Love! Ah! Sneaking out of home and having a gender mating dance with boy friend”- the typical scenario of love that flashes on your mind when I ask you what love is. Here is the misunderstanding- people often mistake the word “love” for only “romantic love,” but love is more than a romantic feeling, rather it is a profound feeling which is the essence of human life and essential for our survival. What do I mean when I say “love for living”? The answer of this question is hidden into the verses of the poem- “On Work” by Kahlil Gibran.

            In this poem Gibran says that if you want to enjoy the earth, and if you want to discover your own soul, you should work – work for your survival and work for your living. You may think of your vocation tedious one, and you may think that it’s your misfortune working hours after hours. Gibran says that all of those tedious hours can be turned into music if you work with love. When you work through enjoying the work, it will bring the best result. On the other hand, if you work with hatred and feel apathy to the work, it must be the worst one.

  In this poem, Gibran also says that all kinds of work is simultaneously enjoyable and can be noble too. In this point, I can share my own experience. Every Friday we are to clean our dorm, obviously it’s a tedious work- we have ever done. We sweep the floor, and flash the commode of our wash room. At the beginning, we thought oh God! What a hell! This work is for the servants, what should we do this kind of inferior work?  We used to hate cleaning our wash room. After a week when it became dirty, we three roommates started to clean our dorm. One of us started sweeping the floor, another was sweeping the wash room, and the other was flashing the toilet. Surprisingly, we discovered that the task was no more tedious, and we were enjoying the work. We were shouting at each other “hey, Tshering, pass the bucket; hey, Tram, read the instructions how to clean the toilet”- we were laughing, shouting and enjoying our work. Now it’s no more boring to us, rather it has become an enjoyment for us.

In conclusion, let’s love our work, and work with love. As a student, study is our one and only main business, so let’s love our homework too.

Advertisements

Whose Children?

Reading the poem, “On Children” by Khalil Gibran led me to the state of dilemma. His ideas are somewhere acceptable and somewhere very hard to assimilate with. He says parents are just a means to bring a new life to the world but they aren’t the one who bring life from within themselves. Furthermore, he argues that parents can give love but not thoughts to their children. From individual point of view, that’s true because every individual has own thoughts. However, speaking scientifically, parents live inside their children. Their genes pass their characteristics, appearances and many more traits to their children. Thoughts of children are often guided and influenced by their parents.

The most concerning thing for me is that Gibran averts parents from condemning their children as their children. He states that “They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself”. Then what about the pain and suffering a mother bears conceiving her baby and holding the one on her womb for nine months? We know a baby grows from the fetus that is formed through ovulation cycle. So, can’t a mother claim her baby as her baby? Moreover, he comes forward with his argument that parents just house the bodies of their children but not the souls. Here, he tries to remain indifference to the soul inside the baby letting it remain as a mystery. On some point, we all agree the issue of soul as a mystery.  Even though can we neglect the process inside the womb a baby undergoes to take a human shape and human life?

I agree with Gibran that parents try to fiddle with the changing time but don’t try to make their children like themselves. It’s so because time never goes backward. In the later part of the poem, Gibran uses simile of bows and arrows to depict the relationship between parents and children. He equates parents to bows and children to arrows. This seems to appear quite pleasing. At the same time, he uses this simile to escape away from the criticism of undermining parents’ credit for procreating children in the first part of the poem. He brings the concept of God and tries to protect himself saying that God loves both his bows and arrows equally.

With all these agreements and disagreements, I still linger with some questions. Are parents simply a machine to produce children? Can’t they claim their children as their children? What do you think?

“On Work”

     “On Work” is a poem written by Khalil Gibran in which he defines the importance of work in our life. He identifies work as an important part of our life without which we are idle and useless. Further, he also says that we should work engaging in it through the heart. No work is big or small and everyone who works is important. We should not discriminate work according to its level because every work has its own significance. I agree with the poet that when we work without interest, it is of no use.

     While reading this poem, I remembered about the people who do those work which are supposed to be lower class. In Nepalese society, people are still divided on the basis of the work they do. Their income level, social status and their life style all depends upon the work the kind of work they perform. Moreover, some of them are also considered as untouchable. For instance, cobbler, tailor, carpenter, toilet cleaner, and coolie are considered as untouchable and those who are business man, priest, and employees are considered higher and medium class. I think it is not justifiable and every work has its own meaning. Every human being is same and they need to have same importance and respect as everyone else.

     Through this poem, the poet also wants to suggest us that whatever we do, we should do it enthusiastically. Often people take their work as it is written in their fate and they are compelled to do it. So, the result of it is not satisfactory. Some students think that they are not good at studies and get low grades because it is carved in their fate. But it is not like that. If they read properly giving full attention, they can surely get high grades. Yes, I agree that in some cases our luck is also important, but it does not mean that it all depends upon our luck and fate.

     Lastly, the message I got from this poem is we should try to do fully whatever we are doing and every work has its own importance. We should not comply with our fate. Rather working without interest, we should do what we are interested in. However, what should we do if there is no choice?  Should we stop working or do it without any interest?

Digya Shrestha

Work without love

Love makes everything perfect. Working with love means love your own work. Whatever you do, but do it with love that will help you to make your work inclusive. Everyone should love their work. Its consequences will remain during their whole life time. Similar to this, working without love also has an awful lifetime consequences. By giving a short anecdote this can be explained more specifically.

It is an anecdote about a boy who suffers most for not loving his works.

In childhood,

There was a boy who didn’t love studying. As a student, his first and foremost work was studying. He always procrastinated his homework. By doing this, he became lazy. Before the examination he never prepared his studies well. For this reason he always got poor marks. After that, he passed his school with poor grades.

In youth,

When the boy became a young man he needed to work. He did not want to work and didn’t appreciate all works. Though he had to support his livelihood, he started searching for jobs. For getting a job, he had to face a hard time; due to his preference and poor grades, he didn’t get a good job. After a long time he started working with a low salary and bed condition. Every day he went to work unwillingly. He didn’t love his work because it seemed tedious to him and during his work time he felt it doesn’t pass. Every day when he went to the job he starts counting minutes and hours for finishing his work time. He felt pressure on doing his works; therefore, his life became massy. Eventually, he can’t terminate his work properly and most probably every day his boss scolded him.

In age,

When he was in the age of sixties, he didn’t have the ability to work. He had to spend his time by remising what he should have done or shouldn’t have done in the past. He wished he would love his work and could make his live more meaningful.

According to the eminent writer Khalil Gibran, everyone should love their work. If anyone can love their work, then they can recognize love and know the meaning of time. They can enjoy their work time. However, no work is dire and all work should be appreciated. Moreover, working with love can help then to live a happy life and have nothing to remorse. So, I think work makes life meaningful, and everyone should love their work.

Significance of “self-Knowledge”

The poem “self-knowledge” by Khalil Zibran gave me a new inspiration to develop real knowledge in our soul. When I understood the poem I could realize the power of self-knowledge. The best time to enrich self-knowledge is youth. From my point of view, I think that power, in the true sense of the term lies in self-knowledge. Self-knowledge can be evaluated in mental and social terms. At the time of youth, we have an extreme thirst for self-knowledge. We generally think that power belongs to the strength. When two wrestlers fight, we think that the stronger will win. And in a battle the country with the larger army expects that it will be victorious. But strength without self-knowledge is blind. A blind giant cannot cope with a man who has sharp eyes. Self-knowledge is the secret of success in all fields. In ancient times, men had no knowledge of nature and they thought that the trees and the hills were inhabited by spirits and fairies. But along with the passing of days many unknown things were invented by the attempt of their self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge develops the conscience by which man can judge good or bad and right or wrong. It helps a man to guide himself in a proper way and cultivate all the virtues to become a complete man. Actually, it is related to humanity, morality. It is such a rational power that it grows naturally in human behavior which cannot ignore logic and reason. But nowadays moral erosion is increasing. We are losing the invaluable virtue of morality lack of self-knowledge Most of the people prefer riches but not the knowledge. Our moral character is getting destroyed.

If we do not gain self-knowledge from our childhood, we shall fail in every aspect of life. We will have to open the door of mind. If we do not allow ourselves to know the false, we will not be able to have the taste of truth. In the world, there are many bad events but we have to choose the good one among bad. It is self-knowledge.

Lindo Jong-her reasion and passion

Which one you choose: reason or passion?

“And let it [your soul] direct your passion with reason” is one of the morals in the poem On Reason and Passion written by Khalil Gibran. As soon as I finish it, the image of Lindo Jong, a character of the novel The Joy Luck Club, came to my mind. I think she is a very good example for what Gibran mentioned. Indeed, Lindo sacrificed herself to keep her family’s reputation. Although she didn’t have any attachment with the boy she was going to marry, she still accepted her destiny. After she came to her husband’s house, she learned to be a good wife and a pious daughter-in-law. She was always careful with her behaviors to avoid her family’s disrepute. Even when she tended to escape, she also thought about her parents. I can tell you this is her reason. First, she just followed the engagement because she was so young that she only knew to obey her parents. As she was old enough to clarify her reason and passion, they were like a competition between two sides of her soul. She wanted to get out of the house; on the other hand, she couldn’t break her parents’ promise. As the poet compared, she was “held at the standstill in mid-sea.” Since both of these elements of her soul were considered to be equally valuable, she wasn’t able to underestimate one and heighten the other. Therefore, she endeavored to find out a good solution to fulfill them. Then, as long as the time elapsed, she let her reason to control herself from the selfish decision. She, and only she, would become a “matchmaker” by and for herself. As you knew, she won. Not only could she initiate her new life, but also her family’s disgrace was sustained. A victory perfectly demonstrated the advice of Gibran.

Have you ever experienced such a difficult situation that you cannot make your decision? Did you comply with others’ arrangements, or did you prefer your desires to your beloved people’s benefits? According to the poem, you should consider both the elements of your soul as your “loved guests in your house;” you should balance them. Neither ridiculously pursuing your wishes to lessen your assessment nor insisted your reason to give up your desire is not satisfactory. Let’s learn from Lindo Jong: “let it direct your passion with reason.”

Thu Nguyen

In Pursuit of Love

While reading the poem “On Love” by Khalil Gibran, I felt like drowning myself in the ocean of love. Suddenly! I restrained myself from diving into the ocean when I remembered the pain that I am prone to get there. Then I was in dilemma, “What shall I do?” So, I quickly searched for the sheet and went through the poem. I read each line vigilantly. Then this thought strike into my mind that life is worthy with seasonal ups and downs. It would be a hollow life to laugh without happiness and to cry without sorrow. Knowing that the path was indeed painful, I determined to aspire to steal the delight of love that would cherish some moment of my life.

After resolving that controversy of my mind and heart, I began lingering up with the question that “Who is going to assist me in diving and when?” This question coerced me to go back to the poem once more. There I found the line where it was alluding that love itself would direct the course. For some time, I was relieved. Again, I started to wonder “How is love going to direct me?” I didn’t find any answer. However, I decided to wait for the love itself to direct me (not knowing how).

Having resolved these queries, I decided to read the poem again. This was the time when some eccentric fear ran inside me. I began worrying what if I was deceived by my beloved. Or if had to forego him because of some adverse situations. Will I be able to help myself out of that pathetic condition? Can I feel the same me inside me like the past? These questions started jingling into my ears compelling me to press my hands against my ears. Then I was bound to leave my mind blank for some time.

It’s after some rest that I was able to infer that no matter what happens, our life continues. We have to condemn the facts of time and get accustomed to new situations. The theory of “Struggle for Existence” introduced by Charles Darwin led me to see the laws of nature where one tries the best to fit into the changing situations. I understood that love is the essence of life and no one is left untouched of it. The only difference is in realization of it. Thus, I am looking forward for love to direct my course.

Work

Everybody is thinking about work — for earning, living, future, family, survival, and for self. Of course, once one enters the adult life they have to earn and the only way is via work. A little thing like thinking of an idea to earn and if it benefits, it can be accounted as a work. Doing something for which you get advantage is work. Individuals take work as an important mission in their life and many dedicate themselves and sacrifice certain things. In search of best work they give up their interests and head for their aim. Just like us, we all have left our home and family and have come here to learn and become independent so that in future we can work and bring changes in and around us. As mentioned in the poem “On Work” by Khalil Gibran,

“But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweet of your brow shall wash away that which is written.”

Some individuals take work as a nuisance or a burden they have to accept. They consider it as the uninteresting part in their life that they have to perform such task. They just blame it in their fate and never bother to think over it or make an effort to come up with good solution. Similarly, the author gives solution to this thought too. He says that if we work hard and give our full attention then the hard work and your sweat will wash away the awful fate. Working without interest will result in just the opposite of what you aim. We try to do one task because we are forced to do or there is no other option and the outcome mostly is unappreciatable. For example as mentioned in the poem “On Work”

“For if you bake a bread with indifference you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half mans hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine. And if you sing through as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”

Having indifference in the task you do will result in no good consequence. Just as mentioned above, the bread u bake will result to be bitter in taste, the grape juice will be moreover a poison and the song you sing will hurt other’s ear. And in my experience I too have come across such circumstances. For example, I have to finish how so ever my daily homework but at times I just feel like not doing it. I want to do something else, similar to paint or draw something for which I would be longing to do instead of doing my coursework. Since my home work would be due the next day, I can’t help myself rather than doing it but with lack of interest. After I am done with it, the result is not as expected or up to satisfactory. But on the other hand, if I had done painting or drawing I probably would have created a good piece out of it! If we have interest then no work is boring or tiring.

But again there is a point of disagreement too. Sometimes there is no choice for some people. They have to work regardless of their choices or opportunities. For poor or for uneducated people there is no choice. They have to go according to situation or under compulsion. He/she got to do anything for living without caring if that pleases them or not. Not everyone will get choice to select the only the task that they have interest in and that they are liable to do. In fact, many people give-up their wishes and desires because of the competition among individuals for the best employment -which includes the educated population too. But at the end of the day, all we have to do is one job or the other!!

Whom I Actually Belong to?

Since my childhood, I have always considered myself as a part of my parents. I have always believed the fact that I belong to my parents. Because of them I have been able to see the light of the world. They have brought me up and taken care of me since childhood. They have sacrificed their happiness to fulfill my small wishes. Therefore, I also believe that parents have the full just to claim their right on their children.

However, while reading the poem  “On Children” by Khalil Gibran, a different question raise in my mind which force me to ask myself that to whom I actually belong. It’s not like that it has changed my previous thought and now I don’t believe that my parents have any right over me. As my parents have given me birth, I can’t ignore their existence in me and their right over me. In contrast, it has raised an additional spiritual feeling inside me which force me to think about the connection between creation of lives and the reason behind it.

The poet has given me an idea that God has created every life as a media for other life. Our parents are the reason and medium for taking our lives forward. While reading the poem, I also tried to look back the history of my own family in order to understand the concept I got from the poem. As a result, I have been able to discover the truth of the message the poet has tried to convey. I have seen that although my parents are from my grandparents, they are far much different from them. Even in my case, I am also very different from my parents, although they have tried to raise me more like them as their parents tried to raise them. Instead of all this, eventually we grow up as a different person with our individual identity.

As a result, the idea I have got from the poem is that even if our parents spend most of their life to raise us up, they really can’t control our mind and soul, because God has created every individual with different mind and thoughts. The relationship between children and parents is just a process run by God to continue the generations forward. Therefore, now I consider the fact that we belong to our parents is as a temporary concept, valid as long as we live.  Eventually God has the whole control over our lives and God is the one to whom we ultimately belong.