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« There was a war when I was a child | Main | Every Day is a Woman's Day »

March 02, 2018


FR team

Comments from the first publication of this post.

Thank you for sharing it. Even though I don't have any children, it is a beautiful reminder.
Posted by: Friend | January 17, 2013 at 08:56 PM

Parents role should be exactly what Gibran suggests "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." Emphasis "The archer see the mark upon the path of the infinite...."
thanks for a wonderful reminder
Posted by: Lucy | January 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Great thought provoking article. My hypothesis is that from a values perspective, a parent and a child maybe similar to some extent. Thats why the phrase "an apple does'nt fall too far from the tree". However, when it comes to things that children are passionate about, I think that is totally an individual experience and as parents we need to recognize that.
Posted by: Sam | January 18, 2013 at 05:40 AM

Love John Lennon's quote. We all talk about being happy. How many understand what it means?
Posted by: Parag | January 18, 2013 at 06:53 AM

Another great posting… so thank you for sharing.
I think if we teach our children how to reason… to encourage maturity and wisdom in them... then the 2 extremes can be avoided (we fear our child might blindly follow their passions… and end up a penniless pauper unable to take care of him/herself… and we fear our child will obediently take our advice to the letter.. and end up with a “good job” but miserable since they tried to live our life and not theirs)… But if we teach them life is all about trade-offs… and help them learn how to make such trade- offs for themselves and then be grateful for the good aspects of whatever decision they made, then we can sleep well at night as a parent.
Again, thanks for sharing.
Posted by: BHSC | January 18, 2013 at 08:46 AM

After reading this sentence I knew it was from John Lennon
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
Posted by: Js | January 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I believe every parent wants their children to be happy. According to Maximilian Kolbe, "this longing for happiness is present in every human being. We are all looking forward to something, whether close or far away, in the hope it will bring us a crumb of happiness. Heaping up money, glory and pleasures are all attempts to gain happiness. Yet the world is finite and therefore happiness is limited and yet, we want more. We long for happiness, but for a happiness without limitations: an infinite, eternal happiness. Shall the urge for complete and total happiness, inherent to human nature, be the only need to remain unfulfilled and unsatisfied? No, even this longing can be fulfilled by the infinite and eternal God." And that is what I desire for my children and their children, a knowledge, relationship and love of the one and true God for that is all they ever truly need in this life and the next.
Posted by: Mark Dennen | January 18, 2013 at 04:28 PM

Yes, everything we do is to seek happiness, love - this longing is in everyone; however, we seek these in events, people, objects - these cannot be found in the world - since love, joy, happiness are your very nature!
'New' things, events make us more "present" which gives us a momentary glimpse of our true nature - however our mind / intellect ends up attaching happiness to external events.
Happiness is right here, right now!
Posted by: Mrigank | January 19, 2013 at 12:00 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"

Unfortunately for us, parents, that's true
Fortunately, for them, children, that's true.
And fortunately for us, kids of our own parents, that was also true
Posted by: alex | January 19, 2013 at 09:46 PM

Thanks for the sharing, Anand.
I heard an equally excellent saying about chidren: In some nations in NE Asia, old people say "Your children are not yours, you take charge of them and take care of them for God".
Posted by: Zhicong Deng | January 20, 2013 at 06:29 PM

My dad has his whole mind setup for what he thinks is good for me back when I was applying for college. He told me what I must study, expecting me to follow his plan.
I didn't follow his plan. He didn't speak to me for a month.
I was so mad at him back then. I told him that it is my life and I shall live it like it is my own. Not his.
As time goes by, I learn to understand why he did what he did. Like all parents he wants the best for me. And this is based upon his experience in life when it comes to stating what's best. More importantly, in my case, he didn't want me to go through the negative experience he had to go through and he associates that experience with a specific job.
As much as parents hate to see their kids go through the hard life, sometimes it is these experiences that makes their kid a better person. It will make them learn and grow, be humble and be appreciative of what they have. More importantly, if it is something they love doing, they will be happy.
Happy. Quite honestly, wouldn't that be the most important thing in life?
Posted by: chiaoju | February 07, 2013 at 04:52 PM

Ex Rable Rouser

Teach your children well and open mindedly as they are born pure (don’t believe the evil part). Learn from them well and open mindedly as well and you will be very surprised. We don’t own them nor control them. Let each succeeding generation free to be much better as it has been in the millenium of human evolution. Our job will be well done. Yeah, Simon and Grafunkle.


I have been struggling to help the second one with her math homework these days. Hard to be a parent who trying to find a balance. Haha!

Gibran fan.

Hey. This is wonderful and so so true. This is why I have never understood parents living their lives thru their children to the extent that they have no life of their own. They are totally living for and by heir children. More so in ...... (as I observe the more) community in the USA. That makes me sad. I always believed to let them be and perhaps my son is very different than I am is a good thing. I became very different than my father. My mother hardly barely acknowledged when I won four gold medals in my BS engineering degree. She was happy and proud but took no credit in it as she knew she had left me alone.

Gibran is my fav.


Very thought provoking!


Thank you Anand! Very nicely put and great reminders of our role as parents. Love Kahlil Gibran’s analogy of the archer, bow, and arrows!


Timely reflection Anand as I was just talking with someone this week about rebellious teenagers. I said as parents we dont like it, but long term this is good for the kid and everybody. We dont want to have children who live out of fear or leading life based on what others tell them to do. Life is changing so much thesedays such that things that worked in our life may not work in our kid's lives. But like all things right, it is easier said than done :) Thanks for bringing these thought provoking articles to us.


As a parent, I'm still learning to let go, which is really hard. I've been always trying to give my best and full love to my son since he was born, and now, again and again, he's been trying to tell me to stop forcing my ways on him, including always arranging things for him, preparing his luggage to boarding school, etc. like the typical Asian parents trying to do everything for their kids. He kept stressing to me even after I gave up for the instance, he said, "Mom, I really want to let you know that when I say I don't want it, or I don't want you to do it or me, I mean it, it's me that shall be taking the responsibilities, and I want to do it my way. Can you promise not to force it on me in the future?" He is obviously right. Although it feels bit blue that my child doesn't need me as much as he used to be, I have to learn to let go and getting used to see him and treat him as an independent young adult, going on their own choice of life journey.

not conflicted

Anand- And here I am 5 years later. My sons have grown into compassionate fearless young men. They are enjoying Life and work( yes in that order:)). I learned from my dialogues with you, to let them go- choose their own paths- and now my reward- They come home and spend time with us often. We have wonderful conversations. It seems like they have imbibed the best of both lands- my motherland and this my homeland. BUT- how can I be mom if I don't find something else to nag them about? Now it is about finding love and getting married. so..the cycle of life continues :) - And its all good .

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