A Diamond in the Rough – By Robyn Lebron
- Kamran Mofid
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A Posting from the GCGI Books to Change our Lives Series
When Prof. Kamran Mofid, the Founder of Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) reached out to me to write an article about books that have helped me through difficult times, I had to take a step back and think about the answer. As an avid reader (especially anything about religion or spirituality), my mind went into overload.
There are so many beautiful writings out there that have touched my life…Listing them could be a massive endeavor!
So first I will share the messages I learned and the strength I received along the way. It may seem to someone in pain, or struggling during these difficult times, that Spiritual leaders and mentors don’t “have any problems.” But as I have walked these 65 years on the road of life, I have come to understand just the opposite is true! Prophets, messengers and even Shamans have all experienced and struggled just like you…in some cases, much more!
The truth in life is not that we should be cushioned from hardship and pampered. In fact you may know of people who have been, and their inner spiritual strength or wisdom seems shallow, or even lacking all together.
As I did research for my books on world religions, reading the Bible, the Torah, the Qur’an and the writings of Spiritual masters from ancient times, I saw an amazing common thread. Each holy texts and writings discuss how hardship brings us courage, humility, compassion and so much more!
“And we will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, But give good tidings to those who are patient.” – Qur’an 2:155
“He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ears by adversity.”- Job 36:15 KJ Bible
“A gem cannot be polished with friction, no a man perfected without trials.” - Confucius
“Hardships make us strong. Problems give birth to wisdom. Sorrows cultivate compassion. Those who have suffered the most will become the happiest.” - Daisaku Lkeda founder of Soka Gokkai Buddhism
“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”— C. S. Lewis
The concept of a plain, boring piece of carbon (coal) after extreme heat and incredible pressure, becomes the exquisite and indestructible Diamond is so true! It is the struggle of a butterfly in a cocoon, which strengthens its wings for flight. Hardship is not a punishment…it is a gift! I have learned, invariably, that my trials were lessons I needed to learn. Some were brought on by my mistakes, and some seemed to come out of nowhere. But each one changed me for the better.
In fact this lesson had been burned into my soul. I believe it so strongly that I never wish someone’s trial be taken away. Instead, I pray for them to have courage and wisdom; using their inner light to guide them through the darkness.
As far as books that have touched me, there are so many. But here are a few that immediately come to mind.
“The Shack” by William P Young, is about God’s love for us and the understanding of tragedy in our lives.
“My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers is a series of devotionals that give you a small light to start each day.
“The Greatest Miracle in the World” by Og Mandino is an oldie with a powerful message about how YOU are miraculous.
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle teaches the concept of not just walking through life unconsciously, but BEING involved in every moment, and finding the tiny miracles of each experience.
“The Book of Joy” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu discusses the spiritual journey that these two amazing men had when they spent a week together. Sharing their tears, trials and joys.
“Come Be My Light” (posthumously published) by Mother Teresa, is a series of letters that she wrote to her Bishop during her darkest hours. A powerful reminder that even exceptional people struggle and have dark times; and the value of keeping focused and moving ever forward.
“Azim's Bardo - A Father's Journey from Murder to Forgiveness” by Azim Khamisa is a powerful true story about the murder of his son, and the path he walked with the killer’s grandfather to find love and forgiveness.
And of course the musings and writing of the Prophets, messengers and seers of old.
I wish you strength, courage and the peace that surpasses all understanding,
Robyn E Lebron
Robyn E Lebron
Award winning author
40 World Religions and Faith Practices: The Search for Peace in Times of Chaos
Finding the Common Ground Between Science and Spirituality