Today, we’re finding our inspiration from the Lebanese-American poet and writer, Kahlil Gibran. Gibran was born in Lebanon in 1883 to a Maronite Christian family. He emigrated to Boston with his mother and siblings at the age of 12, but returned to Beirut for his schooling. He was a gifted artist and writer, and wrote for several Arabic newspapers before publishing his most famous work, The Prophet, in 1923. It was a bestseller. Today, The Prophet and other works by Gibran continue to be popular around the world, largely because they transcend the barriers between East and West, and reflect his belief in the universal fellowship of the human race
In his poem, “The Three Ants,” Gibran offers a clever account of a conversation about the existence of God:
THE THREE ANTS
By Kahlil Gibran
Three ants met on the nose of a man who was asleep in the sun. And
after they had saluted one another, each according to the custom
of his tribe, they stood there conversing.
The first ant said, “These hills and plains are the most barren I
have known. I have searched all day for a grain of some sort, and
there is none to be found.”
Said the second ant, “I too have found nothing, though I have
visited every nook and glade. This is, I believe, what my people
call the soft, moving land where nothing grows.”
Then the third ant raised his head and said, “My friends, we are
standing now on the nose of the Supreme Ant, the mighty and infinite
Ant, whose body is so great that we cannot see it, whose shadow
is so vast that we cannot trace it, whose voice is so loud that we
cannot hear it; and He is omnipresent.”
When the third ant spoke thus the other ants looked at each other
At that moment the man moved and in his sleep raised his hand and
scratched his nose, and the three ants were crushed.
FOR ADDITIONAL READING: See The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Some more inspirational nuggets for today:
- Today is World Religion Day in the Baha’i faith. Started in 1950 in the United States, World Religion Day is now celebrated on the third Sunday of January by Baha’i around the world. Built on the Baha’i principle of the oneness of religion, World Religion Day shines a light on the harmony of religions and religion’s important role in unifying rather than dividing humankind.
- It’s also the birthday of Ben Franklin. Born in Boston in 1708 to Puritan parents, Franklin is best known for his role as a founding father. But he was also a serious spiritual thinker. As a Deist, he practiced a form of Christianity that set aside doctrine in favor of the idea that a life of love and virtue outweighed any specific beliefs. “Here is my Creed,” Franklin wrote to the president of Yale College. “I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we render to him, is doing Good to his other Children.
- And on this day in 1920 the prohibition of alcohol went into effect, making the U.S. a dry nation. It came on the heels of the ratification of the 18th amendment, which declared the production, transport, and sale of intoxicating liquor — but not its consumption — illegal. The push for prohibition was led by the temperance movement and widespread support from the Christian community. But in the end, America decided it couldn’t live without liquor. Thirteen years later, in December 1933, the ratification of the 21st Amendment ended prohibition and restored the legal flow of alcohol in bars and taprooms across the nation.
I don’t know about you, but that kind of inspires me to pour a Guinness.
Anyway, that’s today’s Spiritual Almanac.
Thanks for listening. Be kind, take good care and we’ll see you soon.