Pity the NationSunday, October 14, 2007
The text below is an excerpt from Khalil Gibran’s writings. It is a beautiful characterization of symptoms of a corrupt cultural state. The rise and fall of nations is an endless cycle that repeats itself across time and space. While the specifics of growth and decay of each society vary significantly, the overall patterns of social movement show striking similarities which is evident from history. An appreciation of the language of patterns could help in spotting the growth state of a people and make its advance in future more predictable. Structural similarities in social change across cultures also highlights the fact that social movement is not a circumstantial phenomenon, inspired by accidents of history. It is rather weaved by a complex web of cause and effect. The long term fate of a people is thus effected by their own social choices, made across time, including their responses to external events.
Gibran’s narration which is obviously an observation and expression of a different time and space would seem like a “fresh account” to many a people, which testifies the existence of a system of social movement shared by the human civilization.
Excerpts from Khalil Gibran
Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own winepress.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.