The Madhouse - K. Gibran

It was in the garden of a madhouse that I met a youth with a face pale and lovely and full of wonder.

And I sat beside him upon the bench, and I said,

"Why are you here?"

And he looked at me in astonishment, and he said,

"It is an unseemly question, yet I will answer you.

My father would make of me a reproduction of himself; so also would my uncle.

My mother would have me the image of her illustrious father.

My sister would hold up her seafaring husband as the perfect example for me to follow.

My brother thinks I should be like him, a fine athlete...

and my teachers also, the doctor of philosophy, and the music-master, and the logician, they too were determined, and each would have me but a reflection of his own face in a mirror.

Therefore I came to this place. I find it more sane here. At least, I can be myself."

The of a sudden he turned to me and he said,

"But tell me, were you also driven to this place by education and good counsel?"

And I answered,

"No, I am a visitor."

And he said,

"Oh, you are one of those who live in the madhouse on the other side of the wall."

Kahlil Gibran

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