~ Abai Kunanbaev ~

Word Twenty-Four

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There are more than two thousand million people living on earth now, they say. We, Kazakhs, number more than two million.

The Kazakhs are unlike any other people in their desire for wealth and in their quest for knowledge, in their appreciation of art, in showing their friendliness and strength, and in boasting or enmity.

We fight with each other, we ruin each other and spy on each other before our neighbor has time to blink.

The world has cities with a population above three million. There are people who have traveled three times round the world.

Shall we, indeed, continue to live like this, lying in wait for one another, remaining the meanest people on earth? Or shall we see happier days when people forget theft, deception, backbiting and enmity, and turn their minds to knowledge and crafts, when they learn to obtain their wealth in honest ways? I doubt if such days will ever come. Nowadays, two hundred people hanker after a hundred head of livestock. Will they live in peace before they have destroyed one another in this scramble?

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