On children...

14:30:00 Karen Li 0 Comments

My boss shared this poem with me last week. On reflecting on the content I think it's the view of young people today. Yes I came from you but you don't own me. They strive for individualisation, independence from their parents as soon as they have the means to do so. You see estranged parents/children.

But sitting here, in a foreign country, away from my mother for nearly 3 months, all I want to do is snuggle up with my mother. All I want to do is get as close as I can. And I think largely, it's because I've been raised that way. Mum never raised me to think that she owns me. She never raised me with expectations to become something I am not just to fulfil her dream. She raised me to pursue whatever interested me. There was never pressure to score 100% in exams or to learn things I didn't want to learn.

And when I became of age she told me why.

Mum said, "I {meaning me, her child} am a gift from God. I was simply a guardian. I wanted to raise you to pursue God" Though my mother is a simple woman, with no college degree, she sprouts such wisdom. If only more people treated their children as gifts and treated themselves simply as guardians.

By Khalil Gibran
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
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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