Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your children are not your children

As their characters and personalities emerge, I'm inspired and directed by a text written by Lebanese philosopher Khalil Gibran on children.

He says: "Your children are not your children, they are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but they are not from you and though they are with you, they belong not to you.

"You may give them your love but not your 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."

I consider myself privileged to be raising two gregarious, inquisitive, caring and hilarious boys; both still under age five! They offer me unconditional smiles, hugs and cheer every single day.
As a mother set on nurturing self-affirmed children who are fully equipped to deal with tomorrow's world, I draw upon my heritage and ancestral cultures to provide a strong foundation for life.

Diaspora family
Living as Diasporan family on the African continent, we share a myriad of cultural heritage which we use to construct life-nurturing and community-building experiences.

Through the many valuable lessons learnt from my mother and all women in my female lineage, I remember they always gave me freedom of choice built on strong values and knowledge of self. This provided a strong backbone which enabled me to spread my wings and fly through my life journey.

As I spread my wings as a mother, I, too, make conscious choices in cultivating my children in an 'enriched heritage' community. This makes for a world view rooted in their multiple histories. This approach shapes balanced, loving and giving people who are able to live in and fully participate in the global community of diverse cultures.

As I look to the future, I remember Khalil Gibran's words and dream of tomorrows world where children of the African diaspora boldly affirm their enriched heritage in multiple, fabulous and notable contributions to humanity.

As we celebrate Mother's Day, I remember and honour the matriarchs whom I have known and those I am still getting to know and thank them for enriching my life with love.

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