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Sep
1
2009
The Archer
Author: Gnaana

Arjuna

Sometimes it takes a stranger to make you stop and appreciate the things in your life.  I was out one day and randomly started talking to a fellow South Asian, a Mr. Kareem, who was about my father’s age.  We started talking about children, and he was giving me some advice.  “You know, Kahlil Gibran described the relationship between a parent and a child to a bow and its arrow,” he said.  That analogy was so beautiful – I went home and looked up the exact language.

Here is the poem:

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 our 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.

Thank you, Mr. Kareem, for pointing me to these wonderful, inspirational words.  And I just ordered Gibran’s The Prophet from Amazon.

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