Musings for a responsible society

Amidst the dark and grey shades increasingly engulfing, invading and piercing deeper and deeper, let me try to enjoy the little smiles, genuine greens, and the gentle breeze. Oh! Creator! If you don't exist, my vain!
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For a happy life: A Little Wisdom for the Holy Week

Let me take you through some excerpts from the book ‘Sirach’. I find this book a simplistic guide for happy living! The book is believed to have been composed sometime around 180 B.C. According to Michael D. Coogan (who Edited the book for Oxford University Press), the book stresses characteristic wisdom teachings: prudent speech, wealth and poverty, honesty, diligence, choice of friends, sin and death, retribution, and wisdom itself. The uniqueness of the book is its simplicity in writing.

Here are a few excerpts from the above book.

Unjust anger cannot be justified,
for anger tips the scale to one’s ruin.

Those who are patient stay calm until the right moment,
and then cheerfulness comes back to them.

They hold back their words until the right moment;
then the lips of many tell of their good sense.
“My child, perform your tasks with humility;
then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.

The greater you are, the more you
must humble yourself;
so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord.
Honor and dishonor come from speaking,
and the tongue of mortals may be their downfall.

Do not be called double-tongued
and do not lay traps with your tongue;
for shame comes to the thief,
and severe condemnation to the double-tongued.

Pleasant speech multiplies friends,
and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
Let those who are friendly with you be many,
but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter;
Whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.

My child, from your youth choose discipline,
and when you have gray hair you will still find wisdom.
Come to her like one who plows and sows,
and wait for her good harvest.
For when you cultivate you will toil but little,
and soon you will eat of her produce.
She seems very harsh to the undisciplined;
fools cannot remain with her.
She will be like a heavy stone to test them,
and they will not delay in casting her aside.
For wisdom is like her name;
she is not readily perceived by many.

Do no evil, and evil will never overtake you.
Stay away from wrong, and it will turn away from you.
Do not sow in the furrows of injustice,
and you will not reap a sevenfold crop.
Do not seek from the Lord high office,
or the seat of honor from the king.
Do not seek to become a judge,
or you may be unable to root out injustice;
You may be partial to the powerful,
and so mar your integrity.
Commit no offence against the public,
and do not disgrace yourself among the people.

Do not devise a lie against your brother,
or do the same to a friend.
Refuse to utter any lie,
for it is a habit that result in no good.


Do not dismiss a wise and good wife,
for her charm is worth more than gold
Do not abuse slaves who work faithfully,
or hired labourers who devote themselves to their task.
Do you have children?
Discipline them,
and make them obedient from their youth.
With all your heart honor your father,
and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.
Remember that it was of your parents you were born;
how can you repay what they have given to you?


Do not get angry with your neighbor for every injury,
and do not resort to acts of insolence.
Arrogance is hateful to the Lord and to mortals,
and injustice is outrageous to both.

Do not praise individuals for their good looks,
or loathe anyone because of appearance alone.
The bee is small among flying creatures,
but what it produces is the best of sweet things.
Do not boast about wearing clothes,
and do not exalt yourself when you are honored;
For the works of the Lord are wonderful,
and his works are concealed from human kind.
Many kings have had to sit on the ground,
but one who was never thought of has worn the crown.
Many rulers have been utterly disgraced,
and the honored have been handed over to others.


Happy is the person who meditates on wisdom
and reasons intelligently,
Who reflects in his heart on her ways and ponders her secrets,
pursuing her like a hunter,
And lying in wait on her paths;
who peers through her windows and listens at her doors;
who camps near her house and fastens his tent peg to her walls


If you choose, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter your own choice.
He has placed before you fire and water;
stretch your hands for whichever you choose.
Before each person are life and death, and whichever one chooses will be given.
For great is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power and sees everything;
His eyes are on those who fear him,
and he knows every human action.
He has not commanded anyone to be wicked, and he has not given anyone permission to sin.


But no human mind can grasp this,
And who can comprehend his ways?”

(The book contains several such simple lines of wisdom, is part of the Old Testament. Read it, if you get a chance!)

1 comment:

  1. thought so it was from the Old Testament, you put it down very well :)


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