Your Children

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.

This poem is so often quoted that it is a cliché to repeat it . Still it strikes me as so so true that I brought it up here.

Last night we spent time with a couple who were so suffused with a glow of happiness.  (As one of  my resolutions for this year is to step out of my comfort zone and spend more time with different people , this was a success)

Their son had bought both of them gifts with his first salary last week, and they are still in that ‘moment of incredible happiness’.

So I’ve been thinking, what gestures from my children make me happy?

Of course, they’ve given me gifts and that is a very good feeling. But others?

– When  Sindhu says, ‘ma switch off the light ‘ when we leave a room.

– When  I see them make  a gesture of spontaneous generosity  in kind or thought or gesture to someone else

-When Im unwell and they show concern

– when someone else appreciates them for something

-when they are particularly witty or come up with an insight into life

-when I see them enjoying some activity or someone

-when  they are plain happy


6 thoughts on “Your Children

  1. Their concern. The sudden hugs, especially when you have not observed them tip toeing into the kitchen. Anything at all… just love them both ( I too have two daughters)

  2. Have always loved this poem.. in fact it is this poem which lured me to Khalil’s writings.. nd they are all profound… you should check the one on marriage too if you havent yet..

    the kids can make us happy in many ways and just by gifts… the ones you have quoted tells us that they are well rounded individuals. .hats off to u!

  3. Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
    Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
    Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
    Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
    Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
    Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

    Thanks, Happy Kitten. This is so good and as you say, profound. We are responsible for our own happiness and if we can share it, it is doubled.

    About the kids; thank you. WE all do our best and hope they will grow up to be happy adjusted individuals.

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