I think revisiting Kahlil Gibran’s “The Playground Of Life” will serve as an effective perspective foundation for the new year and beyond. Here it is…

A MINUTE MOVING among the patterns of beauty and the dreams of love is greater and more precious than an age filled with splendor granted by the weak to the strong.

From that minute rises the god-state of man, and in that age it sleeps a deep sleep veiled by a veil of disturbing dreams;

In that minute is the spirit freed from the burdens of men’s conflicting laws,

And in that age is it prisoned behind walls of neglect and weighted with chains of oppression.

That minute was the cradle of Solomon’s song and the Sermon on the Mount and the lyrics of al-Farid. That age was blind force that destroyed the temples of Baalbek and razed the places of Palmyra and Babylon’s towers.

A day spent by the soul in lamenting the death of the rights of the poor man and in weeping for the loss of justice is nobler than the age lost by a man in enjoyment of his appetite. That day purifies the heart with its fire and fills it with its light; and that age envelops it with its dark wings and buries it ’neath layers of earth. That day was the day of Sinai and of Calvary and the Flight.* That age did Nero pass in the market place of wrongs, and Korah set it up on the alter of lust, and Don Juan buried it in the grave of bodily desires.

An so is life. Played by the nights on the stage of destiny as a tragedy; sung by the days as a gym. And in the end guarded by Eternity as a jewel.

*The flight, or Hegira, of Muhammad to Medina.

From “Kahlil Gibran The Collected Works,” page 822, published by Everyman’s Library 2007 – ISBN: 978-0-307-26707-8 (US), 978-1-84159-310-4 (UK)

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