A Simple Truth

“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 are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.”


– Gibran Khalil Gibran



Kids and parents are like ships passing in the night.  They can call out encouragingly to each other as they pass,  shine a light for each other to see the way, perhaps exchange some vital information or even tools, but ultimately they have different paths.  They left different ports and have different destinations.


Or as Gibran Khalil Gibran put it — Kids are like arrows that parents send forth, but cannot accompany to their final destinations.  This is very difficult for parents to accept, but is ultimately a beautiful truth:  We are all our own entirely unique and separate people — adults and children alike.


And yet – We may have separate ports of origin, separate destinations and different paths, but we do share the voyage and bear responsibility for one another.  On the first leg of the journey, one of the ships is bigger and can withstand the waves , while the other simply cannot; towards the end, it may be the other way around.  The bigger ship owes the smaller one complete respect. Its passengers are completely equal. But the bigger ship has the responsibility of keeping the smaller vessel safe.


The bow is no better than the arrow, but we can’t ignore the impact it has on the arrow’s trajectory.



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