An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Posts Tagged ‘Khalil Gibran’

may it be love

In Education, parenting on January 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

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.

Khalil Gibran

We live in exponential times. Fifteen years ago, mobile phones were the size of a brick, I didn’t know what an e-mail account was and we used an A to Z map to get to places. Who could have predicted what we carry around i our pockets today.¬† In another fifteen years the growth isn’t going to be as unpredictable. The path here inst linear but an exponential curve. It’ll be more unpredictable then we can currently, with all our technology, imagine. Yet, as Ken Robinson reminds us, we have to prepare our children for it. That question is on the minds of educationists and their desire to reform education from a model that’s rooted in the industrial age to one suitable for the information age. May be what is needed is not a reform but a complete transformation of education. Its interesting to see institutes, still dominated in hierarchical structures with managers still taking authoritarian approaches to managing people (by wanting to throw their weight around), are under pressure to use virtual learning environments, interactive whiteboards and online websites in their institutes to meet the government requirements and the growing pedagogical needs of their students. Students who take to collaborative approaches to learning¬† rather than the chalk-talk vessel filling approaches. What such institutes are asking for is a total shift in working culture for effective teaching and learning to take place; i.e to outgrow their old skins. “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:2.

Yet today, we as parents, face the similar dilemma -unless we can bend in His hands. I was reminded of Khakil Gibran’s words today when I tried to get my daughter to do something simple: To come and sit next to me so I can explain why Owais, her 1 year old brother, should be given 2 minutes on the computer. I realised she has a mind, heart and soul of her own and unless I am in tune and work with that, by being in tune and centered within my self, I may run the risk of obscuring, at the price of conformity, her original self.

“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.”

I don’t know what the answers are about raising children for tomorrow. A tomorrow we can’t imagine with all the challenges it will bring. May be you do? (Please comment).¬† We may not be able to give them our thoughts, but we can give them our love – and our tradition is just that. If love is our center and the context for everything -then may be this essential timeless ingredient will hold us, transform us, enliven us and open our hearts to each other and to the Divine. In the words of Mevlana Rumi

Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity.

The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death.

Tomorrow, when resurrection comes,

The heart that is not in love will fail the test.

Ashq Olsan – May it be love