Condolence and Sympathy
Writings - On Joy and Sorrow
Journey of Hearts
A Healing Place in CyberSpaceTM
I had planned on including this passage from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet for some time. The need became more apparent when one of the visitors to the site (another physician) coping with the death of an only son, quoted these words as ones that were helping in his slow recovery.  
On Joy and Sorrow
from "The Prophet"
by Kahlil Gibran
    Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow  
    And he answered:  
      Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.  
      And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was often times filled with your tears.
    And how else can it be?  
      The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.  
      Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?  
      And is not the lute that soothes you spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
    When you are joyous,  
    look deep into your heart and you shall find  
    it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.  
    When you are sorrowful  
    look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth,  
    you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  

    Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay sorrow is the greater."  
    But I say unto you, they are inseparable.  
    Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at you board, remember that the other is asleep upon you bed.  

    Verily you are suspended like scales between you sorrow and your joy.  
    Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.  
    When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weight his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.  

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Published by Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated, May 1976
                        Format: Hardcover
Last updated April 26, 1998
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