Inside a Writer's Mind

Inside a Writer's Mind
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -- Oscar Wilde

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Books (and Words) I've Read That Influenced Me

In truth, growing up I was not much of a reader. Well not in the traditional sense.

I did read books. Sometimes. When I was younger. And as a teenager, rarely.

But what I always loved was reading quotes. Maxims. Pithy insights and inspirational words.

I've always believed that words have the power to change people and their lives. And therefore the world.

(If you doubt what I've said, try this little exercise: Think back to when you were a child... Now recall a time your father or mother told you off, or blamed you, for something that wasn't your fault. Now observe how you feel. I'll wager their words still resonate, possibly decades later.)

Over the years as I've grown older and become more of a reader, I've found myself reading certain books again and again because they continue to speak to me. Sometimes in a way I could not fully comprehend when I first encountered them.

Certain passages or lines drew me back. And even though I sometimes couldn't grasp their deeper meaning at the time. I felt they they were a bit like presents I'd received, but couldn't open. I knew instinctively that one day, when I could unwrap them, there would be something valuable inside.

One book with many such lines in it that fall into this category is Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. I've included quotes from this book in previous posts and will leave you with a couple of my favourites (found at

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“For what is it to die, But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind? And when the Earth has claimed our limbs, Then we shall truly dance.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy”
― Kahlil Gibran

“I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind. I should not be ungrateful to these teachers.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“The Reality of The Other Person Lies Not In What He Reveals To You, But What He Cannot Reveal To You. Therefore, If You Would Understand Him, Listen Not To What He Says, But Rather To What He Does Not Say.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“Joy and sorrow are inseparable. . . together they come and when one sits alone with you . . remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”
― Kahlil Gibran

“Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
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.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”
― Kahlil Gibran

(N.B. Some of the above are not from The Prophet, but as I liked them I included them anyway.)

Keep writing!


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