Your Children Are Living Arrows

kahlil-gibran-drawing-archer-living-arrows

Illustration by Kahlil Gibran







I love this prose piece by Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet. As my daughter turns thirty and advances confidently in the direction of her dreams, I find even more meaning in it.










ON 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 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 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.





Here is a simple yet powerful exercise that helped me cherish my daughter’s youth even as the years flew by.





Click here to view all my posts about parenting.






ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

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Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.




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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?


Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.




Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.



SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book. Click here to order Sixty Seconds. Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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8 Responses to “Your Children Are Living Arrows”

  1. Kate Says:

    When I discovered this piece in the early 70s, I was drawn to it on a very deep level, though I never thought I would have children of my own. It resonated with me as I considered my own life and the lives of others. When I knew I was going to have a child, it became a reminder, a beacon, that directed me in my mothering. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I am grateful that you were the bow that fired the living arrow of our girl!

  3. Catherine Nagle Says:

    Beautiful!…Thank you, Phil!

    I love this. And can understand its sacred truths with every year my children mature.

    Thank You for the privilege to read these words once more!

    “Happy 30th Birthday to your daughter!:-)”

    Truly,
    Catherine Nagle

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Catherine! I know that lots of people love this piece and are glad to encounter it again!

  5. jeanski Says:

    My husband teaches philosophy at a university he has this book too The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, i love this. We have 3 teenaged kids. Sometimes we get too busy… and then realize just how fast the years went by… and whoa! they’re all grown up. It’s always a good thing to stop and do some reflection.
    Happy Birthday to your daughter.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Jeanski. Yes, reflection helps us cherish the moments we do have with our kids even as the years fly by!

  7. mel Says:

    Mr. Phil Bolsta,

    This is the poem of Kahlil Gibran I love most! Thanks for posting it in your blog. I can relate to this poem spiritually and emotionally. This means a lot to me as an offspring of my parents. I hope they could understand me, that I’m grown up now and that I could make decisions on my own as long as it would not harm anyone.

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, a lot of parents have a hard time letting go and viewing their living arrows as adults in their own right. Good luck, Mel!

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