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H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
Tue Dec 15, 2015, 11:07 AM Dec 2015

Mid-Night Essay [View all]

“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, 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.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.
-- Kahlil Gibran


It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since the horrors of the Sandy Hook elementary school, in Connecticut. It is really a shame that children have to worry about outbreaks of violence in schools. Or, their communities. Or homes.

This makes me think about children around the world, and how for many of them, high levels of violence have been occurring for decades. Even generations. And what impact all that horror has upon the survivors’ lives.

I think about how angry many adults become, after some of these terrible events, where they are ready, even eager, to send other people’s young adult children to distant lands, to kill or be killed. Even after most military leaders note that ISIS, for example, cannot simply be defeated by violence. Yet no “leaders” speak about what, other than violence, is required.

Many people recognize that no innocent people should be exposed to terrible violence, especially not children. Yet again, few “leaders” speak of non-violent dispute resolution -- and those few who do, are viewed as “unrealistic” or “weak.” As if there is anything “realistic” about trying to destroy an ideology of violent hatred with more violent hatred.

I think of Senator Robert Kennedy’s favorite Albert Camus quote, which in so many ways sums up Kennedy’s 1968 run for the presidency:

“We are faced with evil. I feel rather like Augustine did before becoming a Christian when he said, ‘I tried to find the source of evil and I got nowhere. But it is also true that I and a few others knew what must be done if not to reduce evil at least not to add to it.’ Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you believers don’t help us, who else in this world can help us do this?”

Tonight, many of us will be watching the republican debates for their party’s nomination for president. How very different it will be from RFK’s 1968 campaign message. The nonsense that will be spouted from these candidates is not the source of all evil, of course; rather, it is a byproduct of generations of it, one that continues the cycle by planting seeds of hatred. Yet, Americans will watch both the debate, and the news cycles that follow.

Maybe our culture should listen to children. Perhaps it is no coincidence that enlightened people throughout history have noted that true wisdom comes from the mouths of little children. Or that those societies that place the greatest value on children reach a higher status than those who do not.

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Mid-Night Essay [View all] H2O Man Dec 2015 OP
As the father of four I get what you wrote. panader0 Dec 2015 #1
Thank you. H2O Man Dec 2015 #6
I think your OP could use this - DURHAM D Dec 2015 #2
Sweet Honey in the Rock is possibly the most powerful group of female singers ever Hekate Dec 2015 #3
I wasn't familiar H2O Man Dec 2015 #8
Much appreciated! H2O Man Dec 2015 #7
Great composition...you get an "A" libdem4life Dec 2015 #4
More and more H2O Man Dec 2015 #10
I remember, however, the idealism of the Boomers. We were going to stop wars and libdem4life Dec 2015 #11
Valid, important points. H2O Man Dec 2015 #12
.... libdem4life Dec 2015 #13
Kick and Rec, H2O Man Hekate Dec 2015 #5
Thank you! H2O Man Dec 2015 #14
Thank You Martin Eden Dec 2015 #9
Thanks, Martin Eden! H2O Man Dec 2015 #15
No easy solutions what to do (or not do) about ISIS Martin Eden Dec 2015 #16
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows Are sent forth. voteearlyvoteoften Dec 2015 #17
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