November 04, 2008

The Prophet.


I remember seeing this printed as a poster long time ago and I have always liked the meaning behind these words. Not having any children of my own, I can not say if this is indeed true, but I like the following excerpt from "The Prophet", by 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...-

7 comments:

Diane said...

This is beautiful. And yes, it's definitely true, though parents forget it (or don't realize it) sometimes. Thanks for reminding me :)

Protege said...

Diane, I am happy you like it.:)
It was printed on a poster that my mother received about 20 years ago, while she worked as a pediatrician.
I always liked the quote and finally found the source recently.:))

Hilary said...

I devoured The Prophet when I was a teen and loved this passage in a selfish way.. being the child at the time. Now I relate to it with an accepting mother's sigh.

..."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."

Thanks for the memory :)

Protege said...

Hilary, thank you for that wonderful comment - I am glad you are familiar with this work and that it brings back pleasant memories.

And thank you so much for completing this excerpt!
Yes, indeed, what you mention these are the final verses, which I left out, as they were not printed on the poster that I recognize from my teens.

Reading them though now in your comment makes me realize my error - I should have included them initially as they make the piece complete.:)

Mel said...

Memories...my dad is a big Kahlil Gibran fan. Pretty much every year for Christmas since I was old enough to do my own shopping I bought him a Kahlil Gibran book until he had them all. That seems especially fitting given this excerpt.

Holly said...

I don't know what to think of parenting these days as I don't know if I am doing it right or wrong. I am however doing my best.

I can say that children are so unique and individual. Like a snowflake. One can't expect them to be anybody but themselves,...and that should be encouraged and not stifled.

What a beautiful quote.

Protege said...

Mel, that is a wonderful sentiment; how great to able to give books that someone really loves as presents.

Holly, doing the best you can is what matters. I am sure you are a wonderful mother, creating a safe haven for your children and family.