Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Words of Wisdom from Arabian Nights - 1

Almost everyone is familiar with some of the stories Arabian nights (Alibaba and 40 thieves, Alladin and the Flying Carpet etc). They are a collection of stories that Shaharezaad tells her husband, Sultaan Shaharyaar, every night so he would be intrigued by the stories and would not kill her. (She was successful) My mother has collected many of them from various sources and published them on her website (Sushmajee.com) under Arabian Nights Stories. All stories are interesting and keeps one spell bound until the end.  Read them; I am sure you will enjoy them. Most are suitable for kids 10 years or older.

Lately I have been editing them for my Mom, and came across some very good learning moments in some stories. These are valid for anyone in any culture.  Here they are in two installments.

Part 1: (Click here for the story it came from)

In this story a dying old father is telling his son how to live in this world.
  1. The first principle - Be over-intimate with none, nor frequent with any, nor be familiar with any, thus you will be safe from his mischief; for security lies in seclusion of thought.
    Meaning: Do not share too much information about yourself with anyone - that way they will not be able to use any of that information against you.
  2. The second principle - Deal harshly with none, lest fortune deals with you harshly; for the fortune of this world is one day with you and another day against you; and all worldly goods are but a loan to be repaid.
    Meaning: Deal fairly with everyone and treat everyone nicely. You never know when your luck turns around and you will need the help of others. Also, everything you have here stays here in this world and is a loan, so help others.
  3. The third principle - Learn to be silent in society and let your own faults distract your attention from the faults of other men; it is said that in silence lives safety and by speaking you will repent many times.
    Meaning: Learn to be quiet and train to improve yourself rather than finding faults in other people. Silence is golden;  if you say something bad you will have to repent it over and over again.
  4. The fourth principle - Beware of wine drinking because it destroys human wits, it opens the gates wide to sins that kill.
    Meaning: This is simple - be in control of your senses. Alcohol makes you lose control and makes you do things you would normally not do.
  5. The fifth principle - Keep your wealth and it will keep you, guard your money and it will guard you. Waste it not lest you become a beggar. Save your wealth to cure the wounds of the world. Because if you do not have wealth, you have no friends around. How many friends are there who lend their money to their friends?
    Meaning: Be wise with your money. Take care of it and it will take care of you. When you have no money you have no friends.  There are not many friends who will give you money when you need it.

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