Children are my favorite people. I love to see them happy and protected, but often I see them neglected and abused. They are “inconvenient”, “economically worthless”, “unwanted”. Their parents regret having them, and are itching for them to move out so that they can finally get some “life”. For this post I have collected a few quotes and videos related to children and “being like children”.
The words of Kahlil Gibran are very often quoted and discussed.
A nursing mother asked the Prophet: Speak to us on children.
This is his answer.
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.
We cannot make our children in our own image and likeness. We have to give them freedom to grow. But there is something else in this poem, that I find very important. Our children are given to us, which means, we will have to account for them.
Teenagers are also children, and they are entitled to our love. They do not want to listen to our words very often, but they certainly see our example. Even if people tragically make wrong decisions, any effort their parents have made is not in vain, and pays off.
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
― L.R. Knost, Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages
Every war takes countless lives of innocent children.
Janusz Korczak, a doctor and author, was a principal of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw from 1910-th.
“Children are not the people of tomorrow, but are people of today. They have a right to be taken seriously, and to be treated with tenderness and respect. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be. ‘The unknown person’ inside of them is our hope for the future.” – Janusz Korczak
When the institution was sent to the Treblinka extermination camp, he refused to leave his orphans and went to the gas chamber with them. He told the children to wear their best clothes, and take with them a favorite book or toy, as if they went for a trip.
The life is tough, but it is much easier to bear the burden of life if you have good memories of your childhood, parents and grandparents. Make these memories for your children to strengthen them at the times when they need to be strong .
“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”— Rabindranath Tagore
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him. – Pablo Casals, musician
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John F. Kennedy
“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.” –Louis Pasteur
We all know that there is a little child in us. All our experiences and ages are preserved in us.
Act as a child when you feel it is a right time to do so. It might make the world a better place.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
You don’t necessarily have to have your own children, it doesn’t make much difference (go back to the first quote). About 25% of world population are children. You may be their relative or neighbor; you may be physician, senator, president, baby food manufacturer, movie maker, writer, teacher, farmer… Just don’t do anything that can harm them.