Wednesday, July 30, 2008
City of People: Children
Picture by Eki Qushay Akhwan
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931), a Lebanese American artist, poet, writer, philosopher, theologian, and one of my favorite poets ever, once wrote this about children:
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 childrenas 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.
To me, no other accounts of children have ever been more sublime than this. Those children in the picture are not just the citizens of Bandung; they are the citizens of the world, the future, and our hearts and souls.