On Joy and Sorrow, Kahlil Gibran

Kamilah, Kahlil's mother. Painting by Kahlil Gibran

Dark Daughta, one of The Peace Tree's amazing contributors, has my blood boiling for both Joy and I felt it my duty to give you the words of the master on the subject...


Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was
oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you
can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned
in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that
was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall
find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say,
"Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


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