Most often we can deliver a message effectively by simplification. Nothing is more clear than a bow and arrow analogy when it comes to our role as parents.
During the meeting of parents of our scholars last May 30, I emphasized the importance of their role in the success of the foundation’s collegiate scholarship project. The foundation may provide financial assistance and other school support to the scholars, but there is one thing that the foundation can never provide – the caring and loving support of parents to their own children.
I remember one book, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I have read this many times before and it dawned upon me to use few lines of Kahlil in emphasizing the message I want to convey to the parents of our scholars. So I gave the bow and arrow analogy.
Parents are like bow and the children, the arrows. How far the bow can be stretched would depend on the parents’ willingness to be pained and acceptance of unlimited sacrifices. The greater we stretch it, the greater the pain and sacrifices but then the arrow flies higher and longer in pursuit of its dreams. If we only desire the comfort zone with less pain, a lip service dedication for our children, then we can stretch the bow a little. But then the arrow flies weak, loses its momentum and falls short of its future direction.
Let me share to you Kahlil Gibran’s thoughts about children. He said, “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.”
This is the power of simplification. This is the pureness of clarity. This is a realization that takes our breath away!