Monday, January 01, 2007

Do Ants Have Souls?
"The Prophet"
by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet is one of the ultimate self-help books. It's religion wrapped in philosophy wrapped in how to live and feel about your life. And it's pretty good, so, for the new year, try something different.

Read this.

I was highly skeptical when a friend let me borrow this book to read. I'd heard about this book before, that it's a staple of New Age feelings and a sort of "listen to the Earth" mentality. I imagine dancing in a circle covering myself interpretively with glue. I made a judgment and I was wrong. The book was very insightful.

As a matter of fact, if I had read this book earlier in life, I feel it would have made a much more profound impact on me, but, having passed a particularly impressionistic point in my life, it didn't have as much influence. Another book I read much earlier, The Alchemist, did in its stead. I've often come back to The Alchemist when I needed inspiration or direction or a path to an answer. The Prophet is equally as insightful.

This tiny book revolves around one man's leaving a town (the prophet of the story) where he has resided for some time. Before he leaves, all sorts of townspeople seek his advice on topics ranging from love to loss to work and so on. The Prophet's answers are short and succinct, even at times a little hippy-ish, but they represent just the type of outlook on the world I strive to have. Be happy with what you get, because you won't get anything else. It's important to dream, to strive for something, because that's what we live for.

Pick this book up when you've got a couple of hours. Your life may not change, but your hours certainly will.

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