“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but are not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
On Children Kahlil Gibran
My favorite uncle gave me a copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet when I was sixteen. Smart man, he knew I was ready for it. He was a Catholic and knew I wasn’t ready for Catholic dogma yet, though mom raised me as a Baptist with access to all religions and philosophies at the library. This poem impressed me as one of the reasons why parents and children so often disagree, especially in modern American culture. We forget to honor and respect each other as separate and holy beings.
Today I am still considering the lecture by Arun Gandhi I was privileged to see. His parents’ approach to child rearing was non-violent. Rather than punish their children for misbehavior the parents did penance, blaming themselves for poor parenting rather than the child for misbehaving. Trust and respect for each other are core values in non-violent parenting and hard to maintain in this American society.
Parenting is HARD. Just is. Your child is another person. Not you. No instruction manuals are issued and all the authors and child psychologists in the world recommending different techniques cannot work with all behaviors and temperaments. I still hope my young adult child is learning to think beyond himself, to know what is morally and ethically right, and to have the strength to address what he sees as wrong in this world, and to do the same with myself.
This week I have been grateful for:
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.