Sunday, May 5, 2019

the dervish who was everything

     A novice policeman was patrolling one evening in a neighbourhood of old Konya that had been rife with burglaries. At he walked along, he came across a homeless looking man, obviously a beggar dressed in rags, who was sitting back against a dilapidated wall sound asleep. Immediately suspicious, he prodded the man awake with his night stick, demanding of the man, “Are you the thief who has been pestering these neighbours!?” Aroused but still sleepy, the man simply replied that, yes, he was a thief. 
     Hoisting the man up by his coat, the policeman poked him to the nearby constabulary and set him in a cell. About this time, the sergeant came along, looked at the man in the cell and then at the policeman, standing proudly in front of his first arrest. To the policeman's dismay, the sergeant began chiding him vigorously, "You north end of a horse pointing south. You pile of solid matter discharged from the alimentary canal of a tiny rodent with big ears. You noggin made up entirely of hard, largely calcarious connective tissue." (The sergeant had literary tendencies.)
     "Effendi! How did I offend thee?" (The policeman was more inclined toward the poetic.)
     "Don't you know who this man is?”
     "No, Effendi.”
     "Why he's a dervish, a holy man. Simple, profound, and penetrating in his wisdom, he is a paragon of the fullness of what it means to be a human being.”
     The policeman then described the conversation he had had with the prisoner, finishing with, “But he confessed. He admitted to being a thief.”
     The sergeant became very serious and explained. “It is part of his insight and wisdom to see that within him, within us all, are the complete array of every human tendency. He sees that we all carry within us the potentials of kindness and cruelty, honesty and deception, goodness and evil, and everything in between. Therefore he, and all of us, also carry within us the possibility of being a thief, a teacher, a lawyer, a soccer player, a scoundrel, a murderer. We are all in this together. And so, he chooses to live with peace and love. Turn him free immediately. And be sure to give him some gummy bears!” 
     Opening the door to the cell, the policeman paused for a moment, wondering, “Gummy bears?” But before he could ask anything the sergeant was already walking out the door.


Quotes from past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

My humanity is bound in yours, wecan only be human together.
Desmond Tutu – 1984

I wish that a conscious sense of peace and solidarity would develop in all peoples.
Rigoberta Menchu Tum – 1992

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
The 14th Dalai Lama – 1989

There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
Martin Luther King Jr. - 1964

Do one good thing everyday, that someone is afraid to do.
Leymah Gbowee - 2011

One person of integrity can make a difference.
Elie Wiesel – 1986

This is what my soul is telling me: Be peaceful and love everyone.
Malala Yousafzai - 2014