Some words pass through us quickly and vanish into air, while others burrow themselves into our heart and minds, thereby changing not just our lives but our opinions, thoughts and perspective as well.
Born in 1883, Khalil Gibran completely revolutionised the world of poetry and literature. Growing up in the lush region of Bsharri in Northern Lebanon, Gibran proved to be a solitary and pensive child who was best at home in the the natural surroundings of the cascading falls, the rugged cliffs and the neighboring green cedars. This in turn played a very important and symbolic role in his drawings and writings.
Best known in the West for his book, The Prophet, Gibran work had a magical quality that impacted people across boundaries. Though he was born in Lebanon, he studied in America and has inspired a legacy of universal love, freedom and tolerance through both his writings and paintings.
The below is an extract from his poem Your Children, an absolutely stunning and impressive piece of literature.
Your Children by Khalil 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, 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 hands be for happiness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.