“For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

Last night I came across a section from Kahlil Gibran’s, “On Children.” As I read, I reflected on my own experience with my parents, the experiences of my siblings, the stories I’ve heard from people’s experiences with their  parents, and the experience I hope to create for my own children one day.  His words seem wise.

However, I debated whether to post about it.  After taking my niece to see Brave today, a movie that’s central theme is the struggle and broken bonds that can develop from parents not allowing their children to be who they are but rather trying to shape their children into the person the parents think they should be, I thought again – maybe this is something to share?  Still I held back.  After coming home to a conversation that brought up the matter again, I decided to include this excerpt.

“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.”

(For the full write-up click here)

For the most part, I’ll let Gibran’s words speak for themselves.  The one thing I’ll say is that one of the other reading’s I’ve been doing stresses that genuine love respects the individuality of the beloved and  seeks to cultivate that individuality. I hope that when I one day become a parent I’ll remember the words above. . . even if it means accepting a child who despises the act of writing! 😉

5 thoughts on ““For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

  1. We all have dreams and thoughts about how we will respond and react to our children and their decisions; however, when we actually have our children, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Even though I think it is easier in some ways to have children close together so that they can play together and share in activities, I am happy that ours were spaced out over 3-5 years each because it gave us more time for each one individually. No matter the age though, our children will always be our children and it is hard to “let go”.

  2. Pingback: Despising the Children « The Gentle Art of Learning

  3. Pingback: Reflections: Three Passions… | Mirth and Motivation

  4. Pingback: Kahlil Gibran and May Ziadah in Love « Earthpages.org

  5. Kahlil Gibran is one of my favorite writers, and this passage is one of his best! I have referred so many of my friends to this book when they are going through rough times or just need some inspiration.

    I agree with this passage completely, but sandymae is right. When you have children, it’s just not that easy. On the one hand, you want to let your children follow their passion, and be able to create their own destiny, but it is also up to the parent to provide boundaries and guidance to their (or should I say Life’s children). Those two efforts are often in competition with each other, and the magic to parenting is in finding that balance. Best of luck to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s