Chapter 10: Taking Responsibility For Your Destiny
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
We have not inherited the earth from our fathers but are borrowing it from our children.
– Native American proverb
Carl Sandburg once wrote, “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” Bringing a child into the world is one of the greatest gifts that God can offer us and one of the greatest gifts we can offer humanity.
I have not lived long, but I have lived long enough to understand that raising a child with love is the most important job in the world. I have walked the streets of my country long enough to know that this is so. I have talked to children who are loved, children who are lost, children who are happy and healthy, children who are sad and sick, children with beautiful homes and those who are homeless.
I can, with an honest heart, tell you that the soul who you now call your son or daughter has chosen you as his or her dad or mom. Out of about six billion men and women, he or she, with God’s assistance, chose you. At times, you might think that you’re not ready for the responsibility, but let me remind you that there is someone much wiser than all of us, who knows you are. So whenever fear or doubt come knocking at your door, remember who has chosen you, and laugh the fear and doubt away.
My friend, if you have not yet found the clarity to live a life that brings you joy, then so be it. But at least allow your children and those around you to follow their hearts. Do not, under any circumstance, allow your ego-self to imprison them. Share your experiences. When the child is young, set boundaries, offer him advice. When he is older, offer him advice, but do not be attached to its outcome. Each of us has a purpose to fulfill, so do not judge others by what you think they should or should not be doing.
If you offer your brother freedom, you will silently be teaching yourself how to be free. For the same key that frees your brother is the one you will someday use to free yourself. If you choose to imprison him, then you will be his jailer, and you will find yourself behind the same walls you use to incarcerate him. Many times, children take on the goals and thought forms of their families. Offer your children the freedom to choose their own way. If you do nothing else but this, you have had a successful life.
The following is a poem about children by philosopher Kahlil Gibran that beautifully illustrates what I’m trying to say:
35Your 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 might 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.
35. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Copyright 1923 (Knopf), p. 17.
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