“On Children”, by Kahlil Gibran

This poem was my first missive for parenting… the second, was the book written by Professor Maurice Balson, ‘On becoming better parents’ Edition 5, which I believe is still available at http://www.acer.edu.au – I have no real idea if I was successful, but our sons are really nice, kind and generous people, so I think so. I love them for exactly who they are right now, and whoever they might become, which for all of us, is a constantly moving feast!

On Children
 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.

6 thoughts on ““On Children”, by Kahlil Gibran

  1. Kate, this has been my all time favourite since I was a young hippie 🙂 I know so many parents going through estrangement and heartache with their children at the moment, and it is so sad. I had the best parents, and still love my dear mother so much so they must have done something right
    Cheer
    Adrienne

    • Me too… I read it out loud to my youngest son yesterday, to remind him that is what I always aspired to as a mother… failed some of the time, but always was working towards it! xox

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