DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR?
Mentors can be from the past, present or even fictional. Shahrazad is strictly fictional but I feel she could be real – a composite character of realness, and she is my mentor because for me she is real.
PARALLELS WITH LIFE
Fiction can be so real because it draws upon real life. This is how it was in olden times or with a composite character – it is so real.
DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS
In olden times Kings had the divine right to execute their wives and if the Queen was unfaithful that was high treason and a capital offence.
OFF WITH HER HEAD!
Punishment was death. Think Queen Anne Boleyn – one of the executed wives of England’s King Henry VIII.
MY PAST AND NOW MY PRESENT AND FUTURE
When I was growing up I read as many biographies as I could of the Queens of England and Scotland – that was my reading matter when I was a teenager – great big books of their lives.
THE LASTING QUEEN
There is one Queen that continues to capture my imagination and that is Queen Shahrazad. She today continues to be my mentor. I wish to share with you the lessons she imparts to the world. Come with me on a journey of one thousand and one nights. It is thanks to her lessons that I feel that there is real hope for this world and the future. See my earlier post: http://abetoday.com/2010/07/30/scheherazade-success/
DEVELOPMENT FOR A KING AND US
Let us develop like the Persian king who enjoyed one thousand and one stories and countless lessons in kindness, goodness and morality.
FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES
Let us learn the lessons by a lady who was fighting for her life and fighting for the love of her husband and life partner.
THE FIRST THREE NIGHTS
The stories of the first three nights are connected – but each posting will contain one story – see if you are like the King -- dying for more!
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
The greatest stories teach a moral – a lesson for us to take to heart, embody and live by. The moral of the story of the first three nights is: Sow good, even on an unworthy soil; for it will not be lost wherever it is sown.
LAYERS OF LESSONS
For the enlightened there are many mansions, many dimensions and many lessons. See if you see more lessons than I can.
The first story is an example of faithfulness, even though you might die as a result. For ordinary people when they think of faithfulness – they think of sexual faithfulness. Faithfulness or fidelity applies to all conduct - business and personal.
Fidelity is about loyalty to a person, principle or organization. There was fidelity to his promise and only when people are loyal to their promises can there be trust in this world.
THE POWER IN A PROMISE
Every time you keep a promise you add trust to the world. Every time you break a promise you make the world just a little less stable.
NEVER PLAY WITH A PROMISE
Promises are promises – if you think you can’t keep a promise – don’t make it in the first place and if you make a promise keep it even if it seems at the time that it is a bad deal for you.
Courage strongly features – the merchant in the story could have run away – but then if you run away – perhaps that is no way to live life and is in reality no life. Sometimes we are alive but we don’t have the true dignity that life is supposed to be.
TRUE TO ONE’S WORD
By being true to his word, the merchant impressed three complete strangers.
The story portrays examples of faithfulness (keeping true to one’s word) and keeping one’s promises. It also shows how three complete strangers could be moved by the plight (bad situation) of another and come to his aid.
BONDS OF FIDELITY
“My word is my bond” and really keeping that bond is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself, others and the betterment of the world. At the end of this story I hope you will agree with me.
DAY 1: STORY 1
THE MERCHANT AND THE JINNI
A wealthy merchant/businessman engaged in international trade. He went to a neighbouring country to collect a debt.
It was hot and he sat under a tree in a beautiful garden. He ate a date and afterward threw the stone. A lesson here could be we should properly dispose of stones and not carelessly throw. The moral: think before you throw!
DATE WITH DEATH
Immediately an angry gigantic demon (an Efrit) appeared before him. “I wanna kill you!” shouted the demon. “You killed my son!”
SOMETIMES WE DON”T EVEN KNOW THAT WHAT WE HAVE DONE IS WRONG!
Perplexed the merchant responded: “How did I kill your son?”
“The stone from the date hit my son and he instantly died!” The Jinni explained.
What or who is a Jinni?
A Jinni in Muslim legend is a spirit that is often capable of assuming animal or human form and has supernatural powers.
“We belong to God, and to Him we must return. There is no strength nor power but in God, the High, the Great! If I killed him, I didn't do it intentionally, but without knowing it. I trust you will pardon me,” the merchant entreated.
COMMITMENT TO GOD
The Jinni was unmoved, dragging him and throwing him to the ground. As the Jinni raised his sword to strike him – the merchant wept bitterly and pleaded:
“I commit my affair unto God, for no one can avoid what He hath decreed.”—and he continued his lamentation. Still the Jinni was unmoved.
The merchant told the demon that he had debts to pay and other obligations. He requested that he be permitted to go back to his house and settle these matters. He vowed he would return. He invoked God as his witness. The Jinni accepted – granting him a year.
ONE YEAR OF JOY
Our merchant settled his debts and informed his wife and family of what had befallen him. At the end of the year he returned to the land of the Jinn.
ENTER THE SHEIKH
Back in the garden, the merchant sat weeping thinking about his certain death. A Sheikh saluted the merchant wishing him a long life and wanted to know why he is sitting in the land of the Jinn. The merchant then revealed what had happened.
A LESSON OF FAITHFULNESS
“By Allah, O my brother, thy faithfulness is great. I will not leave this place until I see what happens.” Two more sheikhs came along and upon hearing the story also stayed with the merchant.
YOU KILLED THE VITAL SPIRIT OF MY HEART
The Jinni arrived to kill the merchant who started to wail, as did the three sheikhs. The first sheikh kissed the hand of the Jinni and asked: “If I relate to you the story of myself and this gazelle (he had a gazelle with him), and you find it to be wonderful, and more so than the adventure of this merchant will you give up to me a third of your claim to his blood?”
PACT (Bargain) WITH MERCY AND LIFE
He answered: “Yes, if you tell your story and I find it to be as you say, I will give up to you a third of my claim to his blood.”
DAY 2 – to be continued.
Source of the story: http://www.bartleby.com/16/
Laden with lessons are the stories by Shahrazad - the lady fighting for life and for the heart of the ruler of a kingdom
An I CAN READ English specialist with over 20 years teaching experience, I have worked in the British Council and Linguaphone, well-known language institutions. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. In 2006, I was appointed as an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. For enquiries about I CAN READ classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR DAILY BLESSINGS: www.abetoday.com