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~ Abai Kunanbaev ~


Word Forty-Four

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He is the most miserable among men who has no aspiration. Yet there are aspirations of different kinds. Those who aspire to something are not all alike in their abilities and strength of will. Talented or not, all of them like to hear praise and are eager for praise, whether merited or not.

People mix with their own kind and sometimes confide their innermost thoughts to them. More often than not, they expect praise from those who live among, but not from complete strangers.

Some long for honor and respect, others yearn for wealth, no matter how they get it, whether by avarice or cunning. "He who has gained wealth has no sin." Or, "He who is well-off has a beaming face." This is what they say, knowing that no one is going to censure them for that. They see their honor and merit in wealth. Judging by their perverted ways, this is indeed so. Yet from the standpoint of humanity, this is one of the most obnoxious vices. Some people are anxious to be lauded as brave men, saints or beys, while others don't mind being called clever tricksters. They will take pride in notoriety and will try to gain some advantage even from this.

Everybody aspires to something or other, is eager to read, not books though, but people's faces. They watch intently, as if trying to feel your pulse, and reckon: "Well, this must be in favor today, and I could make some profit on that."

Before gaining knowledge from books, it is first necessary to cleanse the soul and thoughts of filth and only then get down to reading.

If you prefer to read people's faces, there is no point in trying to purify your soul, for no one can see what you have in your soul. It is said: the more folds and notches your soul has, the more solid and invulnerable your prosperity will be. So, judge for yourself what to learn and what to aspire to. He is the most miserable among men who has no aspiration. Yet there are aspirations of different kinds. Those who aspire to something are not all alike in their abilities and strength of will. Talented or not, all of them like to hear praise and are eager for praise, whether merited or not.

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