To All the Parents...
I wonder sometimes if they are really little children or angels sent by Almighty on earth. The perplexity fades away slowly when they exhibit emotions which are very much human. They have their own lilliputian way of ad-lib expressionism. The emotional make up of which is too familiar and strange simultaneously. Familiar as it is not unpredictable like grown ups – strange as it is magically dexterous and shrewd. Yet the blend looks completely natural as the flow of emotions is ostentatious and unpretentious at the same time. With time they learn to act like adults but their reactions portray their strangeness to the mature world around them.
A display of extraordinary deviation from the adult behavior is absolute fearlessness, perhaps because of the raw energy that they inherently possess in mammoth amounts. It also proves the psychological hypothesis that fears are not inherent yet we let ourselves trained to be afraid by internal and external agents. Another surprising feature of their disposition is absolute and selfless love. They simply do not know how to hate – the notion is totally alien to their physiological patterns. In short they are the shadow of original and impure matter of creation – which might be the nature’s way of reminding us how far we have deviated from the standard.
As parents, we fall into believing almost instinctively at subconscious level that our children are because of us. Which may be true in a hackneyed sense, yet in a realistic sense, nature uses us to bring them into this world. They have to face their own pitfalls, conquer their own heights and get stuck in their own quagmires as they naturally proceed to grow up. Heading towards the unknown terminus, they have their own labyrinths to navigate through and completely strange puzzles to solve. It is true that we share the same genetic make up with our children but do not own and predict their destinies. We as parents generally fail to overcome the urge that our child’s future must trace the not-so-well-trodden tracks of our past. This urge is a process, dynamics of which are dictated by a myriad of intangible inputs like the glow of their eyes, the sound of their giggles, touch of their rubber skins and warmth of their arms when they cling to us. The outputs of this transformational process are high expectations, desires to exercise control, excessive possessiveness and most importantly desperation, when they fail to achieve what we want. Those of us who overcome the negatives of this emotional quandary are exceptional human beings beyond doubt.
The extremes of this behavior are the manifestations of conscious and subconscious drivers. At one extreme plays the desire to hit the bull in the eye and on other lies the belief that we could have chosen not to take the aim. The borderline notion that we had the ultimate choice to bring our children to this spatial reality and can lead their course to the other one is completely subjective and false. On one hand its a paradoxical trap to which we actually fall prey and at the same time, - the most difficult testing ground for human faith. A glaring example is uncontrollable grief of the one who loses a child. The deprivation is certainly incomparable to any material loss. Yet the absoluteness that humans tend to attach with this spontaneous feeling of loss is philosophically wrong. At the end we can only lose what is ours…
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 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.
1. Khalil Gibran, On Children, The Prophet.