I have loved reading ever since I was a little girl. Even back then, I used to read profound works of men with wisdom far beyond their age. Now, it dawns on me that even though I read them, I understood them little. These words, that I had read so many years ago, make so much more sense now.
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.
He understood one of life’s greatest lessons to mankind. Do you know why cell division took place so many years ago? The earliest form of cell division was mitosis. In mitosis, the parent cell divided its genetic material, and everything else in half, and produced a daughter cell which was completely identical to the parent cell.
The parent cell didn’t die back then. Then came the process of meiosis. Two cells fused together and exchanged genetic material to give birth to another cell which had all the best qualities of the parent cells. The parent cells perished. The daughter cell went on to propagate this process further, till millions of years later, we evolved.
That is the only principle of evolution. Thatthe old must go to make way for the new. I don’t mean dying here, by the way. What I am trying to say, from both poetic and scientific perspectives, is that we must not pressurise our children to be like ourselves. Remember, they are the best part of you and your spouse. They have come through time to take the best in you forth. Your job is only to nurture, love and protect. Let them do their own job in their own unique way.
We see a lot of student suicides, primarily stemming from parental pressure to perform in school. Parents, well-meaning and wanting the best for their child, often coax the child to do what they feel would be best for them. Indeed, should it be so? Guide, by all means but don’t force.
There is a lot of hue and cry over feminism these days. Women are not the property of their fathers, brothers or husbands to be disposed off in any way they please. Well, so aren’t children. They are not your property either. They are small, tiny individuals who are looking to you to navigate them through their growing up years so that they can find their true identity, on their own.
If really people knew what was best for their children, the world would have been exactly as it was two thousand years ago. Nothing would ever have changed. But change is the only true constant in the world. Change is the only way forward.
My advice to all the parents who want their children to become doctors and engineers…
Please for the love of God, let them be.
Dr. Gauri Kekre is a clueless, 30-year-old woman, who still has to find her calling in life. A dental surgeon by education, she has almost given it up to be a mommy to her two beautiful girls. She loves to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and dabbles some in writing, cooking and her latest fad, sewing. She writes off and on for her cookery blog and you can find her as @drgaurikekre on twitter (although she seldom uses it). Amongst the things she loves are her mom, her husband, her daughters and people in general.