By Mutiah Fauzan
Women’s day is approaching. I could not help myself pondering about books that I used to read. I am not a romantic person. I am more practical kind of girl and I have a firm grip on reality, but a lot of Gibran’s works really captured my dark heart.
For those who are not familiar with Khalil Gibran, first, you need to ask yourself why? And reflect on your reading habits and your book collections. Always remember that books is like traveling without boundaries and limiting yourself in one culture and one type of book simply makes you “dull”. There’s nothing less attractive than a dull person, professionally, romantically, and socially.
Let’s go back to our topic. Khalil Gibran is a Lebanese-American writer, poet, and visual artist, also considered a philosopher. Most of his works are superb and revolve around women. This is because of the heavy influence that he got from three superwomen that capture his mind and his heart.
The first woman that influence him the most is his mother Kamila Gibran, a simple dressmaker who gave six-year old Gibran a Davinci printing as his birthday gift. She became a compass for him growing up despite a gambling-loving absent father. In his famous book “Broken Wings” he wrote an ode to his mother that goes, “The most beautiful word on the lips of mankind is the word “Mother,”. The most beautiful call is the call of “My mother.” It is a word full of hope and love; a sweet and kind word coming from the depths of the heart. The mother is everything; she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness.”
The second woman is his first true love Selma Karamy, who unfortunately is being pushed into arrange marriage like some kind of a farm commodity. In his desperation, he wrote
“the woman, a commodity purchased and delivered from one house to another like a piece of furniture.” He lamented, “will the day ever come when the knowledge ingenuity virtue and strength of women will be celebrated?
From his broken heart, he became what any man should have become…a true feminist.
The third woman is his pen-pal; for those who do not know what it means, it means friends that you actually never met but you’ve been communicating through letter and you have this sense of freedom to pour yourself out without feeling judged and clouded by other feelings. Her name is May Ziadeh, this duo becomes a real feminist and he wrote a lot about women empowerment in a form that makes everyone ponder on our actions in giving women a fair chance in this world.
To close this article, I would like to flick a little bit on society’s ears by quoting his work, and hopefully will make our fellow men rethink of their acquired taste? Are you helping women to be better? Or your demand simply made them stuck in the state that you also complain about?
“Modern civilization has made woman a little wiser, but it has increased her suffering because of man’s covetousness. The woman of yesterday was a happy wife, but the woman of today is a miserable mistress. In the past she walked blindly in the light, but now she walks open-eyed in the dark. She was beautiful in her ignorance, virtuous in her simplicity, and strong in her weakness. Today she has become ugly in her ingenuity, superficial and heartless in her knowledge. Will the day ever come when beauty and knowledge, ingenuity and virtue, and weakness of body and strength of spirit will be united in a woman?” – Khalil Gibran, Broken Wings