5 Reasons to give Rumi a try

The headline above is not a typo. Trust me, if I meant to type “5 Reasons to give Rum a try” there would be a lot more than 5 reasons involved.

I’m talking about Rumi, the poet who, it seems, must have a residency gig on sites like Elephant Journal. He's non-stop.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too familiar with Rumi until recently. Partially because he died in the 70’s (that’d be the 1270’s). And partially because I’m American which makes me foggy on certain subjects which include soccer, compassionate healthcare systems, and 13th-century Persian scholars.

Rumi’s full name is Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. In Persian it's written… ah, well… it seems those symbols don’t cut and paste very well. But he was a highly influential poet, theologian, jurist, Islamic scholar, and mystic. The original gansta of hyphenates.

Rumi just became popular in the U.S. over the last few decades. In recent years though, he’s really taken off. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his rise in popularity mirrors escalating global demand for words which are suitable as yoga- and travel-centric Instagram bios.

Now, the early 1200's happened well over a century ago. But even though Rumi's been featured in those incredible gold-leafed Byzantine paintings where everybody’s head is the same size no matter where they’re standing, he doesn’t strike me as a fancy-pants writer. He’s direct, passionate and to the point. And he’s worth some investigation if you ask me.

Here are five quotes that I like quite a lot.

1) "Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it."

2) "The wound is the place where the Light enters you."

3) "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment."

4) "When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it."

5) "Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?"

If you like your wisdom in bite-sized pieces, Rumi’s social media game is strong: