Be With Those Who Help Your Being, Rumi, Summary & Analysis

"Be With Those Who Help Your Being" by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi is a philosophical and spiritual poem that delves into the importance of surrounding oneself with supportive and uplifting individuals. It emphasizes the transformative power of companionship and the pursuit of personal growth.

"Be With Those Who Help Your Being" by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Be with those who help your being.
Don't sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.
A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don't try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it's too late for all you could become.
Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?

Summary

"Be With Those Who Help Your Being" emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with supportive and inspiring individuals. It warns against associating with indifferent or negative people whose presence can stifle personal growth and vitality.

The poem uses the metaphor of a chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaking into pieces to illustrate the idea that one's potential for growth and transformation is hindered by complacency and a lack of effort. The act of trying to fly and breaking oneself apart symbolizes the willingness to push beyond one's limits and embrace change, even if it means discomfort.

The poem also warns that if one does not strive for personal growth during life, they will be forcibly transformed by death, a transformation that may come too late to realize one's full potential.

The reference to leaves turning yellow and the tree putting out fresh roots signifies the natural process of renewal and growth. The poem concludes by questioning why one would settle for a love or companionship that does not encourage personal growth and instead causes stagnation.

Critical Analysis

The poem is deeply philosophical and encourages readers to reflect on their choices regarding companionship and personal development. It highlights the idea that the company we keep can have a profound impact on our growth and self-realization.

The metaphor of throwing a chunk of dirt in the air and breaking it apart serves as a powerful image for the importance of striving for personal transformation. It suggests that taking risks and challenging oneself are essential for growth.

The poem also underscores the urgency of pursuing personal growth during one's lifetime, as the opportunity may be lost in death. This sense of urgency encourages readers to take action in their pursuit of self-improvement.

Themes

  • Companionship and Growth: The poem explores the connection between the company one keeps and their personal development.
  • Transformation and Effort: It emphasizes the need for effort, risk-taking, and breaking one's limitations to achieve personal transformation.
  • Urgency of Self-Improvement: The poem highlights the importance of pursuing personal growth during life, as opportunities may be lost in death.
  • Choosing Positive Influences: It encourages individuals to choose companions and relationships that support their well-being and growth.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Desire for Growth: The poem conveys a desire for personal growth and self-realization.
  • Discontent with Stagnation: It expresses dissatisfaction with a love or companionship that hinders personal growth.
  • Urgency and Determination: The poem conveys a sense of urgency in pursuing self-improvement and a determination to break free from limitations.

Literary Devices

  • Metaphor: The poem employs metaphor extensively, using the act of throwing dirt in the air and breaking it apart as a symbol for personal transformation.
  • Imagery: It uses vivid imagery to describe the consequences of complacency and the natural process of renewal.
  • Rhetorical Question: The poem concludes with a rhetorical question, challenging the reader to reflect on their choices.

Discussion Question

How does "Be With Those Who Help Your Being" by Rumi encourage readers to consider the impact of companionship on personal growth and transformation? How does the poem convey the urgency of self-improvement and the importance of choosing positive influences?

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