The following verses have been taken from the poetic work “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran(1883-1931), a modern poet who greatly influenced the generation of the 60s in the West. He helped this generation in its existential efforts to understand better the meaning of life and the meaning of human relations beyond the established social roles and morality.
“…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….”
Khalil Gibran(1883-1931) is of Arab origin since he was born in Lebanon of Arab parents, but he spent most of his life in the West,especially in the United States.His poetry was written mostly in English ,and was greatly influenced by the German Romantics, and especially by the last german romantic philosopher and idealist,Friedrich Nietzsche. Nevertheless,in all his works he maintained the earthy and mystical traditions of his Arab cultural heritage. He was not only a poet, but also an artist,a writer,a philosopher and a theologian.He is also one of the best selling poets in history.He was a very popular thinker and poet for the generation of the 60s because his values and ideals were based on an oriental mystical tradition where truth and wisdom come from the soul and senses, not from the mind, while the whole purpose of life is that of self-knowledge and not a struggle for dominion.