My copy of “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran arrived a few days ago.
And what a treasure it is.
It is a book to be savored in small bits and pieces,
with words to be read over and over.
Several people told me about the section on Children, so it was the first place I went…
On Children by Kahlil Gibran
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.
I love this.
I hope to think I have raised my boys this way…
respecting that they have their own thoughts…
not forcing mine on them.
It was the greatest privilege of my life to house their bodies,
but I will never own their souls.
I’m so proud of the men they have become.
Sometimes we have different opinions, sometimes we disagree, but I have, do, and will always respect them immensely…
and love them all the same.
This was not necessarily the way I was raised, but that only makes me feel all the more convicted about it.
I am honored to bend my bow with gladness, and shoot two blazing, sharp, strong arrows into the world.
May all of our children be as unique and individual as they desire, like each snowflake that falls and blows in the wind and catches on thistly bushes. And may we love them all and cherish their beauty.
With much love and pride to my Jake and Nick,