A phone conversation at the weekend made me think about Kahlil Gibran’s beautiful poetic essay On children. How much during any healing process, for our children and for ourselves, do we need to bear his words in mind? When our children are emotionally out of balance one of the first questions we can ask ourselves is do I have any part in this? What has been happening in our relationships and in our lives lately? What can I do? It is sometimes a painful process where we examine our own inadequacies, face up to realities, pick up the pieces and move forwards. Thus healing ourselves at the same time as our children. So with no further words from me…
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
The Collected works of Kahlil Gibran, Everyman’s Library 2007, The Prophet – On Children, P107.