What Do you do? — Rumi’s answer

Ari Honarvar
2 min readApr 11, 2016


Painting and Calligraphy by Carmen Costello and Ari Honarvar (copyright 2015)

What do we do?

We love life

This is our full time job

Like diligent farmers,
we sow seeds of kindness wherever we go

Please don’t ask us to be

accountants of wine cups

We are worshippers of the Wine — Rumi

It might just be the sense of separation from the divine and each other, that leaves us vulnerable and susceptible to identifying with strange and if you really look at it, arbitrary accessories like our looks and our work and wealth.

Because we are convinced that we are cut off from the munificent source of life, we then become hungry ghosts, both unable to partake from the infinite and protective of our paltry belongings and identity. “What do you do for a living?” then becomes either a mercenary question to weed out those who cannot benefit us, or a question we abhor because it affirms our utter smallness and insignificance.

When our perspective changes and we can embody both the timeless and temporal aspects of our being and all of life, then our sense of identity also changes. So when someone asks: “What do you do for a living?” The feeling of this verse is in our heart and guides our answer: “We are worshippers of the Wine/ Not accountants of wine cups”



Ari Honarvar

Speaker, performer, refugee advocate| @guardian @washingtonpost and more| The author of Rumi’s Gift and upcoming novel, A Girl Called Rumi rumiwithaview.com