~ Abai Kunanbaev ~

Word Thirty-Seven

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A false friend is like a shadow:
when the sun shines on you,
you can't get rid of him,
but when clouds gather over you,
he is nowhere to be seen


From The Book of Words,
Word Thirty-Seven

One. Judge a man's qualities by the intentions of his action and not by its outcome.
Two. However good a thought, it is tarnished by passing through human lips.
Three. You may find solace by saying wise words to a conceited fool but, more often than not, they vanish into thin air.
Four. Render good to a wise man; a fool will only be spoilt by it.
Five. A father's son is an enemy to other people. But a son of mankind is your dear brother.
Six. A good man may ask much, but will be content with little; a despicable one will ask much, but will be dissatisfied even if he gets more than he asked for.
Seven. He who works for his own benefit alone is like an animal that grazes to fill its own stomach; but he who works to fulfill his human duty, the Most High will distinguish by His love.
Eight. Who poisoned Socrates, burnt Joan of Arc, and crucified Jesus? Who buried our Prophet in the carcass of a camel? The masses, the multitude! The multitude is devoid of reason. Seek to direct in onto the path of truth.
Nine. Man is a child of his time. If he is bad, his contemporaries are to blame.
Ten. Had I the power, I would cut out the tongue of anyone who asserts that man is incorrigible.
Eleven. To be left alone is like dying. The lonely person suffers misfortunes of every kind. The world knows many a vicious thing, but also pleasures and joys. Who will endure the former in dignity? And who will not be corrupted by the latter?
Twelve. Who among us has not known trouble? Only the weak lose hope. Nothing in this world is immutable, and misfortune cannot last forever. Does not the bountiful and blossoming spring follow the harsh winter?
Thirteen. He who keeps silent in his anger contains his fury within himself. He who spits abuse is either a braggart or a coward.
Fourteen. Success and good luck make a man drunk. Only one in a thousand can keep cool and reasonable.
Fifteen. If you want your labors to be successful, start the job in hand wisely.
Sixteen. High office is like a high cliff. The slow snake will crawl up it and the hawk will swoop down on it. Ill-wishers start praising those who have not yet reached the top, and the latter, being credulous, will rejoice at such praise.
Seventeen. The world is an ocean, time is a breath of wind, early waves are elder brothers, and late waves are younger brothers. Generation succeeds generation, even though things seem immutable in their quietude.
Eighteen. A common man renowned for his cleverness is greater than a king who has been raised up by good fortune. A youth who sells his handiwork is worthier than an old man selling his beard.
Nineteen. A beggar with a full belly is the devil incarnate; a lazy Sufi is nothing but a hypocrite.
Twenty. A false friend is like a shadow: when the sun shines on you, you can't get rid of him, but when clouds gather over you, he is nowhere to be seen.
Twenty-One. Be frank with those without friends; keep on good terms with those who have many. Beware of the careless man; be a shield to the destitute.
Twenty-Two. There is no use of anger without power, love without fidelity and a teacher without pupils.
Twenty-Three. While you are seeking happiness, everybody wishes you well; but once you have attained it, your only well - wisher is yourself.

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