Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

– Vincent Van Gogh

Scissors Or Needle?

It is reported in the life of a great Sufi mystic, Farid, that a king came to see him. He had brought a present for him: a beautiful pair of scissors, golden, studded with diamonds — very valuable, very rare, something unique. He brought those scissors to present to Farid. He touched Farid’s feet and gave him the scissors; Farid took them, looked at them, gave them back to the king, and said, “Sir, many many thanks for the present that you have brought. It is a beautiful thing, but utterly useless for me. It will be better if you can give me a needle. Scissors I don’t need: a needle will do.”

The king said, “I don’t understand. If you need a needle, you will need scissors too.”

Farid said, “I am talking in metaphors. Scissors I don’t need because scissors cut things apart. A needle I need because a needle puts things together. I teach love. My whole teaching is based on love — putting things together, teaching people communion. I need a needle so that I can put people together. The scissors are useless; they cut, they disconnect. Next time when you come, just an ordinary needle will be enough.”

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.

– Simone Signoret

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