Few writers approach writing with the simplicity that is Gibran. When I have children and I seek to imbue in them, a sense of ethics and morality, I shall turn to Gibran for their bedtime stories. His parables are sparsely worded and yet, each one of them carries a far greater wealth of wisdom than your average novel.
Unlike other philosophers that I’ve read, Gibran doesn’t explain his ideas or thoughts. Infact, it wouldn’t be far-fetched for me to say that he doesn’t even state them. He picks up common, everyday occurrences of life and weaves into them, the wisdom of the ages. His ambiguity is what makes him suitable for re-reading. Based on the reader’s current perspective and cognitive abilities the stories can transform from mundaneinstances of life to springboards for analyzing human fallacies and emotions.
Many of his tales in The Wanderer are centered around seeking oneself. Gibran doesn’t stress on how we should focus on understanding ourselves; he simply redirects ones thoughts towards finding oneself. He writes a tale of a child playing hide and seek with his nurse and by the end of the tale, you’re not just smiling at the childish game being played, or remembering instances from your childhood – you’re doing all of that as well as being led down the path of spiritual enlightenment. And that is how Gibran redirects you from a moment in the present to a memory in the past and a pensive future.
The Wanderer also stresses on the abundant human emotions and our inability to distinguishone from the other. He personifies love and sorrow and in less than a hundred words, he tells you their entire story and encapsulates all their ambivalent emotions. He also leads you towards a leap of understanding of how they’re different faces of the same coin.
Gibran doesn’t stress on religion or religious ideas. He stresses on humanity, emotions and the contradictions that exist in the vast spaces of a human mind. He forces you to look within and find the answers that are hidden in the pages. And if that isn’t enough of a commendable endeavour, he tops it off by leaving you calm and at peace with yourself.
Read this when you’re looking forward to hours of musings and introspection. It’s the perfect book for a solitary holiday.