Saturday, September 15, 2012

Parental Guidance and Universal Truths

Sorry for having fallen under the stupor of negligence, but it has been a busy last month, what with eid, coming back from Pakistan, starting up school, and nervously typing away grant proposals. I was reading the Qabus-namah for my Persian advice literature course and in the very beginning of the introduction Kay-Ka'us b. Iskandar b. Qabus b. Washmgir states a truth as universal as one mentioned by Jane Austen or Leo Tolstoy and one which I think transcends any cultural relativism: 

It is the nature of the time that no son desires the advice of his father because of the burning desire inside the young, which, due to their imprudent assumptions, [makes] them see their own knowledge as superior to that of their fathers. 

---  Qabus-namah, ed. Ruben Levy (London: Luzac & Co., 1951), p. 5.

Babur receives a courtier (often thought to be Babur advising his son Humayun) c. 1589
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian 

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