Good in Countless Ways
--by Kahlil Gibran (Jun 13, 2005)
You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house. And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.
You are good when you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast. Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance." For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.
You are good when you are fully awake in your speech, Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose. And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.
You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps. Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping. Even those who limp go not backward.
But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.
You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good, You are only loitering and sluggard. Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.
In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.
But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.