On children, and grandchildren

This past weekend, I had the good fortune of spending four whole days with my children and grandchildren! We live in three different cities, but luckily all in North America, so meetings don’t require visas and special permission of any sort. Like most grandparents, I take a huge delight in enjoying the company of my grandchildren… those fresh, smart, keen 21st century beings :), whose brains are so completely wired differently than ours, and no matter how much we like to believe they belong to us, or that at some level we own them, for the sake of our own, and their happiness, it is imperative to realize and accept that this thought is fallacious! Why? To begin with, we cannot own another human being, and secondly, the world we grew up in is so, so different from the one they’re growing up in, that one of us could be from another planet! To this end, I’d love to share Kahlil Gibran poem, which I so endorse! Here it is, for your reading pleasure:

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.

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Just love them, then leave them to grow, thrive, flourish… and yet, be there for them, whenever they need you!

 

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