Caliph from 786-809 A.D. The most celebrated of all Mohammedan caliphs was Harun-al-Rashid, which means, in English, Aaron the Just. Harun is the hero of several of the stories of the "Arabian Nights," a famous book, which perhaps you... Read more of Harun-al-Rashid at Biographical.caInformational Site Network Informational

Sympathy, Knowledge and Poise

From: Love Life Work

Sympathy, Knowledge and Poise seem to be the three ingredients that are
most needed in forming the Gentle Man. I place these elements according
to their value. No man is great who does not have Sympathy plus, and the
greatness of men can be safely gauged by their sympathies. Sympathy and
imagination are twin sisters. Your heart must go out to all men, the
high, the low, the rich, the poor, the learned, the unlearned, the good,
the bad, the wise and the foolish--it is necessary to be one with them
all, else you can never comprehend them. Sympathy!--it is the touchstone
to every secret, the key to all knowledge, the open sesame of all
hearts. Put yourself in the other man's place and then you will know why
he thinks certain things and does certain deeds. Put yourself in his
place and your blame will dissolve itself into pity, and your tears will
wipe out the record of his misdeeds. The saviors of the world have
simply been men with wondrous sympathy.

But Knowledge must go with Sympathy, else the emotions will become
maudlin and pity may be wasted on a poodle instead of a child; on a
field-mouse instead of a human soul. Knowledge in use is wisdom, and
wisdom implies a sense of values--you know a big thing from a little
one, a valuable fact from a trivial one. Tragedy and comedy are simply
questions of value: a little misfit in life makes us laugh, a great one
is tragedy and cause for expression of grief.

Poise is the strength of body and strength of mind to control your
Sympathy and your Knowledge. Unless you control your emotions they run
over and you stand in the mire. Sympathy must not run riot, or it is
valueless and tokens weakness instead of strength. In every hospital for
nervous disorders are to be found many instances of this loss of
control. The individual has Sympathy but not Poise, and therefore his
life is worthless to himself and to the world.

He symbols inefficiency and not helpfulness. Poise reveals itself more
in voice than it does in words; more in thought than in action; more in
atmosphere than in conscious life. It is a spiritual quality, and is
felt more than it is seen. It is not a matter of bodily size, nor of
bodily attitude, nor attire, nor of personal comeliness: it is a state
of inward being, and of knowing your cause is just. And so you see it is
a great and profound subject after all, great in its ramifications,
limitless in extent, implying the entire science of right living. I once
met a man who was deformed in body and little more than a dwarf, but who
had such Spiritual Gravity--such Poise--that to enter a room where he
was, was to feel his presence and acknowledge his superiority. To allow
Sympathy to waste itself on unworthy objects is to deplete one's life
forces. To conserve is the part of wisdom, and reserve is a necessary
element in all good literature, as well as in everything else.

Poise being the control of our Sympathy and Knowledge, it implies a
possession of these attributes, for without having Sympathy and
Knowledge you have nothing to control but your physical body. To
practise Poise as a mere gymnastic exercise, or study in etiquette, is
to be self-conscious, stiff, preposterous and ridiculous. Those who cut
such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make angels weep, are men
void of Sympathy and Knowledge trying to cultivate Poise. Their science
is a mere matter of what to do with arms and legs. Poise is a question
of spirit controlling flesh, heart controlling attitude.

Get Knowledge by coming close to Nature. That man is the greatest who
best serves his kind. Sympathy and Knowledge are for use--you acquire
that you may give out; you accumulate that you may bestow. And as God
has given unto you the sublime blessings of Sympathy and Knowledge,
there will come to you the wish to reveal your gratitude by giving them
out again; for the wise man is aware that we retain spiritual qualities
only as we give them away. Let your light shine. To him that hath shall
be given. The exercise of wisdom brings wisdom; and at the last the
infinitesimal quantity of man's knowledge, compared with the Infinite,
and the smallness of man's Sympathy when compared with the source from
which ours is absorbed, will evolve an abnegation and a humility that
will lend a perfect Poise. The Gentleman is a man with perfect Sympathy,
Knowledge, and Poise.

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