Kahlil Gibran is considered to be one of Lebanon’s and the world’s preeminent literary and cultural figures. The writer and artist left his mark through his artwork, writing and poetry, leaving behind a legacy that is still remembered and honored today.
Just last year, internationally renowned Mexican-America actress Salma Hayek, who is of Lebanese ancestry, produced an animated version of Gibran’s literary masterpiece “The Prophet,” which premiered in Beirut to wide acclaim. Today, 133 years after this Lebanese treasure’s birth, we remember Gibran for his wisdom and poetic eloquence.
Here are 12 of our favorite quotes from his writings.
1. “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.”
2. “Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”
3. “But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
4. “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”
5. “Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
6. “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”
7. “I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.”
8. “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
9. “I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.”
10. “And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
11. “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”
12. “We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”