Last night I came across a section from Kahlil Gibran’s, “On Children.” As I read, I reflected on my own experience with my parents, the experiences of my siblings, the stories I’ve heard from people’s experiences with their parents, and the experience I hope to create for my own children one day. His words seem wise.
However, I debated whether to post about it. After taking my niece to see Brave today, a movie that’s central theme is the struggle and broken bonds that can develop from parents not allowing their children to be who they are but rather trying to shape their children into the person the parents think they should be, I thought again – maybe this is something to share? Still I held back. After coming home to a conversation that brought up the matter again, I decided to include this excerpt.
“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.”
(For the full write-up click here)
For the most part, I’ll let Gibran’s words speak for themselves. The one thing I’ll say is that one of the other reading’s I’ve been doing stresses that genuine love respects the individuality of the beloved and seeks to cultivate that individuality. I hope that when I one day become a parent I’ll remember the words above. . . even if it means accepting a child who despises the act of writing! 😉