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The arrow, bow and archer – getting to the point – Khalil Gibran

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In 1923, Khalil Gibran wrote a series of reflections and poems in his book called the Prophet. It is a collection of beautiful perspectives on life and one of my favorites was on our children. He says that our children don’t belong to us, they are of the earth and come through us but they don’t belong to us.

The description he uses is a powerful one where he describes the child as the arrow, God is the archer and the parents as the bow. The strength of the faith in the archer and the parents as the bow will guide the arrow on a straight and narrow path and it will hit its mark. A broken bow will not allow the arrow to fly far. An excellent description. I think I appreciate this piece because it has relevance and significant meaning because our actions direct those around us. I will add to this by saying that for me, the arrow flying to its target is more than God and the parents. It is the community and experiences that is the bow and archer. If you have a very strong faith in God then for sure, God is your archer and it is going to guide you in life and you have to hold on to this. If you are spiritual, then you are not able to see the archer and just have a strong belief that you are going to fly far.

We have been an arrow, a bow and archer in our lives. It just depends on the situation and whether we are guiding or being guided by someone. Where are you in life and who do you look to or do the people look to you? These are questions that will determine what you are.

What has guided me? In the beginning, I had no idea where I was going and how far I would go. I mentioned in past posts that I am not a religious person and not tied to anyone belief (but do respect them). If I am the arrow, I have been guided by the people, situations and things in life that make up who I am. If I am the archer or bow, it is only by being an arrow that I have seen the world around me that has enabled me to share and help others on their journey. You need to have been an arrow in order to become the bow/archer.

As an arrow, let those around you help guide you to your target. The key word is to guide you. They are not there to carry you to the target. The journey to the target is yours. If you are the bow or archer, you are there to be present and offer encouragement so the arrow flies far, straight and true. Your action as the bow and archer is what becomes the strength for the arrow. All three – arrow, bow and archer – must be in sync for the flight.


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