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The Taos News




Parents, Love Your Children

March 2015

Most mothers and fathers love their children and wish them the best.   Starting with that first smile of recognition, parents feel the deep potential for love, creativity and philosophical thought their child has within her.  These qualities make their child precious and special to them.

Nevertheless, many parents unwittingly transform this extraordinary being into an ordinary creature.  In attempting to socialize their child, they deprive him of his humanity by putting a stamp of conformity on him that cuts into his deepest feelings, taking back the gift of life he has given them.  They wipe out some of the very qualities in him that distinguish human beings from animals - his unique intelligence, his creativity, and his capacity for deep feelings.  Once a child is “processed” in this way he is deprived of his individuality and reduced to an existence in which he can no longer think or act for himself.  The child, too young to understand what is happening to him and what is at stake, is left to experience much unnecessary suffering as a result.   

When faced with the dilemma of how to socialize your child and to what extent, you would do well to heed the words of the 20th century poet, Kahlil Gibran. In his insightful work, “The Prophet,” he writes, “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.”   What he is saying is that a child is not a thing you can possess, because life cannot be possessed.  You cannot create life, so how could you own it?  The moment your open hands of love become the clenched fists of possession, the life in your child will be diminished.   Your child is a gift from the abundance of existence, or God if you will.  Recognize that to say, “This is my child,” is to assert your ignorance.  A child is not a possession.

Kahlil Gibran goes on:  “You may give your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.”  Your child’s thoughts express his potentials.  Given freedom and love, those potentials contained within her will become realized.  Everybody’s most fundamental right is to be allowed to freely seek and to live their own answers to questions, rather than having them forced upon her while she is engaging in this pilgrimage called Life.  If you truly love your child, you will do best by her if you keep out of her way and allow her the freedom she needs to develop as a unique individual.  Don’t preach at or lecture her with your thoughts and ideas. Rather, help her to be strong and thoughtful herself so she can effectively deal with her search for the unknown and the inevitable stresses life offers.

As a parent, you may think you show love to your child by making her in your own image.  Kahlil Gibran offers another gentle reminder: “You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.”  He means that you might work to be like your child because she is innocent and closer to existence than you.  From this work you will benefit.  Allow your child to keep the original, authentic beautiful face that has something of the Divine in it, rather than trying to make her into a carbon copy of yourself. 

Existence loves you both; you are both children of the same existence.  Feel loved and blessed, and love and bless your children.  They have far to travel and you are the one chosen to give them the strength to do so.  This awareness can serve to remind you to work to preserve your child’s human heritage and to imbue his life, and yours, with special meaning.


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