Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On Children


I was on Facebook the other day, and a comment was made regarding Kahlil Gabran's poem On Children. Curious and never having read it before, I googled it.

The poem spoke to me, and not just because my children are at the age where I worry more and more whether or not I've done all I could to prepare them for adulthood. It also spoke to me because I get frustrated with their lack of interest in things I share with them that helped define who I am, who my generation is, or what I experienced growing up. I mean, seriously, how do they not get the awesomeness that was Nirvana or STP???

This poem reminds me to let the frustration and worry go. Their road is not mine to pave. And it's not about me or what I've experienced. 

On Children
by Kahlil Gabran

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.

It's a lovely poem, and it saddens my heart that they will go where I cannot follow; that I will share less and less of their life experiences as they get older. But dammit, that doesn't mean I can't still try to get them to like a little grunge or classic rock music :)