Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Why Threshold of Your Own Mind" and "Speak to Us of Teaching"?

In the midst of a very involved conversation I had on Twitter this evening I made the segue from talking about Tony Rich and is brilliance to the Best Wedding Songs of the 90's to the brilliant of Kahlil Gibran. The gentleman I was tweeting had never heard of him and so I gave him "The Prophet."

(Note: Whenever I refer someone to a work of literature I like to think of it as a gift. My life is richer because someone gave these works to me. For others, I sort of regift...but in a positive and uplifting way.)

I stumbled upon Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" when I was researching the words to my favorite wedding song. It is by Jason Mraz and it's a gritty, live and rather lengthy song called "God Rests in Reason." As it turns out, Jason wrote the song for his sister's wedding because he was so moved by the work. I found "The Prophet" lyrics/book during one of my many sleepless undergraduate nights. I spent the rest of the night devouring this book, playing "God Rests In Reason" over and over and just weeping.

I revisited it tonight and reread the section on teaching. The story is of a man, the prophet, who is speaking to a large group of people about the nature of human experience and how there is beauty and God in everything. The people say "Speak to Us of Teaching" and The Prophet begins telling them that teaching is not about giving someone your knowledge and understanding, but that a teacher leads you to the house of wisdom and leaves you at the threshold of your own mind. It is up to you to take what he he says and as Mr. MRAZ would say, "you can figure out the rest."

That is what I do on a daily basis. My students come to my classroom of wisdom where I give them little gifts of literature. I guide them through the process of opening the package, corner by corner, page by page, word by word. When they leave, they once again pass my threshold but from there is it up to them how they decide to utilize the gifts I have given them.

Full Text: Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for the link to Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" (and his other works). I devoured it in a couple days (am currently in graduate school). I don't know why I was not introduced to his work in high school but I am happy to have been introduced to them now. Good luck with teaching and your other endeavors.

    I would also like to thank Kim Pearson for posting a link to your page on Facebook.

    Eponymous, MD


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