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Do you agree with Khalil Gibran’s ethics of market place?

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It’s tax return time again and I began looking around for some poetry about commerce.  Here we go. Do you agree with Khalil Gibram?  Does he put the case for honest business well?

Buying and Selling chapter XI

And a merchant said, “Speak to us of Buying and Selling.”

And he answered and said:

To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to fill your hands.

It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied.

Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice, it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger.

When in the market place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and the potters and the gatherers of spices, –

Invoke then the master spirit of the earth, to come into your midst and sanctify the scales and the reckoning that weighs value against value.

And suffer not the barren-handed to take part in your transactions, who would sell their words for your labour.

To such men you should say,

“Come with us to the field, or go with our brothers to the sea and cast your net;

For the land and the sea shall be bountiful to you even as to us.”

And if there come the singers and the dancers and the flute players, – buy of their gifts also.

For they too are gatherers of fruit and frankincense, and that which they bring, though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and food for your soul.

And before you leave the marketplace, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands.

For the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfied.

Khalil Gibran




    As someone has rightly said. there is enough for everyones need but there isn’t enough for one man’s greed. I do agree with what the poet has said, we must exchange goods if we have in abundance and look after each other and see that together each one achieves more through fair exchange.

    • Jo Jordan Jo Jordan

      It’s the notion that we should trade that fascinates me – so many of us are brought at arms length to commerce.

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