Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The People we call friends: of 'Morals & Behaviour'

I was fumbling through my drafts and found this very old post that I never got round to publish, so I told myself why not? today is as good as any other day...

Our ancestors left a rich heritage of proverbs, fables, stories , biographies so that we may learn from their experience and have a shortcut to wisdom. Problem is we forget and we never learn until it is too late. Or until as the Arabs say 'ilfas i'a3 fil ras ', translation : the hatchet falls on the head.

Highlander is blessed to have some people who are 'real' friends, those people who have stood the test of time- true soulmates, she has also made some more along the way whom she believed would grow to that upper echelon. But we need to remmember our wise ancestor and not be totally naive. Why ? because the friends who leave you when the good times are over .. when you really need their support have never been and will never be friends. Maybe we are better off this way. Finding out the truth late is better than never.

So why don't we ponder those pearls of wisdom:

Note : men = human beings here and not gender.

"Do not expect any help in return from anyone except God the Almighty and Great. As you go on your way always remember that the first person you help will be the first to do harm and turn against you. Indeed, because of their profound jealousy, men of bad character detest those that help them when they see that the latter are better off."

"The definition of friendship: [it is the middle point] between two extremes.What makes one friend sad makes the other sad too. What makes one happy makes the other happy too. Any relationship less than this is not friendship. Anyone who answers to this description is a friend. A man may be the friend of someone who is not his friend for a man can love someone who hates him. This is the case above all with fathers and their sons, brother and brother, husband and wife, and all those in whom friendship has become burning love. Not every friend is a counsellor although every counsellor, by giving advice shows himself to be a friend."

"If you find excuses for selfish and greedy men and shut your eyes to their faults, you are not displaying humanity or virtue. On the contrary, it is a base and feeble thing to do which encourages them to continue in their bad attitudes, it applauds and supports them in their wicked actions. Such indulgence would only be humane when displayed towards the just who are quick to pardon and to act unselfishly. In that case it is an obligation for a good man to behave in the same way towards them, above all if they have an urgent need of such tolerance, and if it is more necessary for them"

If you are interested in more check Ibn Hazm al-Andaloosee 's : Morals and Behaviour , and the whole list about friends here.

Some Arab proverbs which I like :

A foolish man may be known by six things: Anger without cause, speech without profit, change without progress, inquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends.

A wise man associating with the vicious becomes an idiot; a dog traveling with good men becomes a rational being.

Arrogance diminishes wisdom.

and finally The wound of words is worse than the wound of swords.

26 comments:

programmer craig said...

Good stuff, H.

If you find excuses for selfish and greedy men and shut your eyes to their faults, you are not displaying humanity or virtue. On the contrary, it is a base and feeble thing to do which encourages them to continue in their bad attitudes, it applauds and supports them in their wicked actions.

I think I would apply that statement people who support terrorism because it is done in a "good" cause.

Sorry, I couldn't resist brining terrorism into it! But I don't think the things that were said about friends and foes in your post only apply to personal relationships :)

Anyway...

The definition of friendship: [it is the middle point] between two extremes.What makes one friend sad makes the other sad too. What makes one happy makes the other happy too.

That's a good definition, right there. About the best I've seen. I guess the two extremes are somebody who is ambivalent (or oblivious) towards what their "friend" is going through, versus somebody who lives vicariously through their loved ones, which is what we call a "co-dependent" in modern psychology.

Anonymous said...

"Do not expect any help in return from anyone except God the Almighty and Great."

No good deed ever goes unpunished.

"The wound of words is worse than the wound of swords."

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Just thought I'd stick in afew of my favorite sayings H. ;-)

Curt from Houston said...

"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."

Benjamin Franklin 1738

Curt from Houston said...

"Be slow in choosing a Friend, slower in changing."

Benjamin Franklin 1735

:-)

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Franklin

Adam said...

Very nice post, but I am not so sure about one thing. The foolishness of "speech without profit". Sounds like a greedy statement....

Anglo-Libyan said...

thank you for publishing this post.
it was good to read some of what I knew in Arabic translated to English.

I specially like this one:

The wound of words is worse than the wound of swords.

programmer craig said...

Hey there, Adam... haven't seen you around here in a while!

The foolishness of "speech without profit". Sounds like a greedy statement....

Pretty sure that refers to that type of person who talks a lot but never says anything. We all know people like that, right? I thought that list for identifying a "fool" was pretty good, myself!

You were probably just being sarcastic, though, eh? :)

Adam said...

Nope PC, I wasn't one bit sarcastic this time. I just reacted to the literary meaning of "profit". Later I realized that the statement could be read differently.

I posted too quickly, maybe you too have seen people do that from time to time :)

NOMAD said...

am I in that list ?

well, it is not my problem,

I am not friend with anyone, but with the whole lot of nature beings

as I am optimist, neither words or swords hurt me, as I am responding in the same shape, without a feeling of rancoeur or resentment,

may-be I am a fool, that's OK,

uhe, don't try to rush on me :lol:

Curt from Houston said...

"No good deed ever goes unpunished."

Sorry H, that post was mine. I just forgot to put my name in. I recently reimaged my system.

c said...

Another good Franklin quote page:

http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Benjamin_Franklin/

Curt from Houston said...

Here's another Franklin Quote that I think may apply to your post:

"Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none."

;-)

Curt from Houston said...

And this:

Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society."

red said...

My fave would be:

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Isn't it so true? Especially in todays world. Such simple unintentional words could hurt our loved ones too if we're not careful! If not used wisely that is! But at the same time what we write even on the blog could lead to change for the better!

Just must share!

ph said...

"A wise man associating with the vicious becomes an idiot"

I think the right saying in Arabic is:

اتقي شر الحليم اذا غضب

programmer craig said...

Adam, I wasn't being a smartass when I said "We all know people like that, right?" - you don't make a lot of nonsense statements, in my opinion. I just don't agree with most of what you say :)

mani said...

um.. H.. where are you??

Lebeeya said...

Highlander, where are you?!

I dont like it when you are silent!

programmer craig said...

Welcome back! Can we talk you into turning off the moderation next time, so we can entertain ourselves at least? :)

mani said...

H.. i agree with craig.. pls turn moderation off :D

you could always turn it on again if you wanna be mean! :)

Anglo-Libyan said...

Dear Highlander
I hope all is well and inshaAllah we see you here very soonn :o)

Brave Heart said...

any body there, u being very lazy these days

Highlander said...

Craig, I was sure you would not resist in adding the comment about terrorism.
Interesting point about 'co dependency'want to elaborate ?

Anonymous, thank you for sharing your favourite sayings.

Curt, I think I like this one best of all from those you mentioned "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."

Adam thanks I guess Craig explained the part you did not understand right ? the translation is not so good in English.

Anglo Libyan you are welcome, did you read al Andaloosi in Arabic ?

Nomad LOL you are a great friend !

Redenclave I agree 100% the pen is indeed mightier than the sword because it is like words it can hurt and defeat before the sword !

PH yes good proverb also this one اتقي شر من احسنت اليه


Mani, Lebeeya, Craig, Anglo and Braveheart thanks for asking about me :)

Mani and Craig sorry I can't accede to your request, I'd love to scrap moderation but I can't because this way I can breathe safe in the knowledge that people have not hurt each other while I'm sleeping. Even Dhafer can miss something, this way some people who regret their words have enough time to ask me not to publish them. So as much as I loved a more spontaneous interaction I'm sorry it will have to be like this for the time being.

ph said...

اتقي شر من احسنت اليه

thats good but I guess no good deed goes unpunished?

mani said...

phew she's alive at least!! :) .. rabbe y3awen ya highlander .. salam

programmer craig said...

H, re: co-dependency, that's when people become so heavily invested in what people they care about are going through that they kind of lose their own identity. Kind of a fuzzy concept. Not easily defined. It's a good personality trait (putting others first) that has gone out of control.