In my late teens, I wanted to do exactly opposite of what my father wanted me to. Then I came across a beautiful poem by Khalil Gibran, a poem I connected with and wanted my father to read. I could never give him the book.
Now that I am a newly minted father, I recollect that wonderful poem. I am sharing here the beautiful work of the great poet Khalil Gibran. He had titled it ‘On Children’.
Hopefully, I will remember and live it even while the threads of attachment get stronger as time passes on. I will be tested when my teenager rebels against me.
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.