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ON CHILDREN - Class 2nd PUC English Textbook Solutions



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.  

The  first  line  suggests  a  basic  response  in  most  of  us parents,  who  feel  a  biological,  emotional,  and  spiritual instinct to care for our children. We chose to have them. We are carefully raising them, teaching them, loving them.   
They do  not “belong to” us. We  don‟t  own them. We  may have chosen (or not) to consider them, but we didn‟t choose who  they  are.  We  are  the  means  by  which  they  came  into the world, but we did not design them. A force greater than ourselves  —  God,  nature,  “Life‟s  longing  for  itself,” whatever you want to call it — is responsible for that.  

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.

Not  only  are  my  kids  not  mine,  but  also,  let‟s  think  about our own mortality. Ouch, again.Seriously, though, this is so true.  Kids  come  with  their  own  unique  identity,  and  their own  unique  part  to  play  in  this  world.  We  can‟t  imagine what likely lies within them, and we certainly can‟t imagine what their world will be like in the future.  
We can  care for them and  offer them  what we can, but we can‟t  make  them  think  like  us  or  believe  like  us.  And  we shouldn‟t want to because they will need different thoughts and  beliefs  to  navigate  a  world  we  can‟t  foresee.  They  are living  in  their  own  time,  just  as  we  are.  And  they  were created for their time, not ours.  

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Parents  understand  this  concept  of  time  better  than anybody. There‟s no finishing time, and there‟s certainly no reversing  it,  no  matter  how  much  we  might  wish  to  do  so. Time marches forward, and we all move forward with it.  
It‟s so tempting to want to make our mark on — or through — our children, but they have their lives, and we have ours. They have their  own  destinies to fulfill, and  we  have  ours. Our destinies are interwoven, but they are not the same.  

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 may go swift and far.  

I feel this bending now, as my oldest prepares to make her way out from under my wing. Perhaps this is why parents say  parenting  doesn‟t  get  easier.  The  closer  we  are  to sending  our  children  out  into  the  world,  the  further we have to bend. We get stretched to our limit, and before we know  it,  they  are  off.  But  the  bending  and  stretching  are painful. I love this analogy  illustrating that this pain  has a purpose.  

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.  

What  a  lovely  reminder  to  find  joy  through  the  pain, because  we  and  our  children  are  loved  by  the  Heavenly. And  to  be  strong,  because  our  firmness  will  help  our children to fly. Our  children.  Our  children  who  are  unique,  individual human beings, with whom we are only together for a spell. Our children who will help move the wheel of humanity a few feet farther than we‟ll be able to see. Our children who have their own destiny and their own purpose separate and apart from our own.  
Our children who are not really our children at all.

I.  Answer  the  following  questions  in  a  word,  a  phrase or a sentence each: -  

1.What do the children have with them?
Ans: Desires and thoughts.   

2. In On Children‟, „You  may give them your  love  but not your ----------------
a. Dreams     
b. thoughts     
c. gladness  

Ans: (b).   

3. What  according to the speaker  can  parents  not  visit in ‟On Children"?
Ans: The parents cannot visit Tomorrow.   

4. How does the arrow move?  
Ans: Swift and far   

5. Who sees the mark upon the infinite?  
Ans: God the archer.   

6. Bending in the archer‟s hand be for ------------------
Ans: Gladness.   

7. How does the life go on?  
Ans. Life always goes forward and never backwards.  

8. What does „living arrows‟ refer to in „On Children‟?

9.  Who  are  referred  to  as  ‟bows‟  and‟  arrows‟  in  the poem „On Children‟?  
Ans. „Bows‟ are the parents and „Arrows‟ are the children.   

10. Who is stable like the bow in „On Children‟?  
Ans. Parents.   

11.  What  shouldn‟t  the  parents  give  their  children, according to Khalil Gibran?  
Ans. Their thoughts  

12. What, according to the speaker, can parents not visit in „On Children‟?

Ans.Mother Earth.   

13. According to the  Prophet, what  may be given to the children?            
Ans. The love of the parents.  

14.  According  to  the  speaker  of  „On  Children‟,  the  one who loves both the arrow and the bow is ………….?                                                                         
(a) The archer   
(b) The parents   
(c) The children

Ans. The Archer.  

15. Whom does „Living arrows‟ refer to in the poem „On Children‟?         
Ans. Children  

16. What does the word „Wow‟ refer to in the poem „On Children‟? Or Whom does the word „Bows‟ refer to in „On Children‟?                                                                          
Ans. Parents

II. Answer the following questions in a paragraph of 80 – 100 words each: -
III. Answer the following questions in about 200 words: -  

1.    How  should  parents  take  care  of  their  Children according to the speaker in ‟On Children‟?  
Or How should parents raise their children according to the speaker of „‟On Children‟?

Ans.  The  Poemhighlighting  that  parents  do  not  own  their children and they cannot control the desires and thoughts of the  children.  The  poet  feels  that  children  should  be  freely and lovingly allowed to  grow into independent  individuals. Children  too  have  their  minds  and  their  own  thoughts. Parents  are  the”  bows”  and  the  children  are  the”  arrows”. Our Creator God uses the stable bow to send the arrows to a certain place. In other words, parents need to be good stable role models for their children. Thus, the poet wants parents to guide their children through love and not control them or their thoughts.  

2.    What  should  be  the  attitude  of  the  parents  towards their children, according to the prophet in the poem ‟On Children‟?  According to the prophet, what attitude should parents have towards their children? Or What  attitude  should  parents  have  towards  their children, according to the prophet?

Ans.The poet stresses that the children are the continuation of life on earth, and should be freely and lovingly allowed to  grow  into  their  individuality.  The  parents  should  love their  children  without  binding  them  with  their  own thoughts. Children have their own set of thoughts. It is true that parents protect the children‟s physical bodies but they can  never  bind  their  souls  which  live  in  the  house  of tomorrow.  The  parents‟  love  could  make  them  like  their children  but  should  not  make  their  children  become  like themselves  because  every  child  has  his  own  inner personality.  Thus,  through  this  poem  Khalil  Gibran conveys  that  children  should  be  given  love,  care  and affection but thoughts should not be imposed upon them.

3.    Why  does  the  archer  want  his  arrows  to  fly  „swift and far‟ in „On Children‟?  

Ans. God is the Archer, parents are the bows and Children are  the  arrows.  The  Archer  wants  His  living  arrows  to reach  the  target.  He  decides  the  target  for  His  arrows  by using  the  parents  as  bows  to  shoot  the  arrows.  If  parents give  their  love  and  not  their  thoughts,  the  living  arrows will  reach  the  target  as  per  the  Divine  plan.  God,  the Supreme  Power,  uses  parents  as  vehicle  to  bring  children to  this  earth.  Children  have  their  own  thoughts  and  souls. Therefore, parents cannot possess them as puppets.  

4.    How  does  Khalil  Gibran  describe  the  role  of  the parents  in  the  lives  of  their  children  in  the  poem  „On Children‟?  
Ans.The  poet  feels  that  children  should  be  allowed  to freely  and  lovingly  grow  into  independent  individuals. Children  too  have  their  minds  and  their  own  thoughts. Parents  are  the„bows‟  and  the  children  are  the  „arrows‟. Our Creator, God uses the stable bow to send the arrows to a  certain  place.  In  other  words,  parents  need  to  be  good stable  role  models  for  their  children.  Thus,  the  poet emphasizes  that  parents  should  guide  their  children through love and not control~ them or their thoughts.
5.    How  does  the  poet  Khalil  Gibran  highlight  the responsibility of parents in the poem ‟On Children‟?  
Ans.God  is  their  Creator  and  the  parents  are  the instruments  who  continue  creation  on  the  earth.  The  poet asks  the  parents  to  give  the  children  their  love  and affection  but  not  their  thoughts.  They  should  be  allowed freely  and  lovingly  to  grow  into  individuals.  Children belong to the future and they are independent personalities. The  poet  compares  the  parents  to  bows  and  children  to arrows  and  God,  the  Archer.  God  uses  bows-parents--to bring  children-arrows  into  the  world.  Parents  should  be gentle  role  models  and  guide  the  children  and  not  force them into doing something.

6.    The  poem  "On  Children"  does  not  focus  merely  on the  lives  of  children  but  also  talks  about  the responsibility of parents. Explain.             
Ans.The poem "On Children" does not focus merely on the lives  of  children  but  also  talks  about  the  responsibility  of parents. In the first part Gibran argues thatchildren take  birth  as  life‟s  longing  for  itself.  Since  we  do  not  create children, we  cannot possess them. However, Gibran argues that  parents  do  have  a  role  in  the  life  of  children.  He  says that we should give our children as much love as we can but never  our  thoughts.  The  children  must  be  let  free  to  think for  themselves,  and  parents  must  not  aim  their  ideas  on them. Next, Gibran talks about the responsibility of parents. He  states  that  God  is  the  archer,  and  parents  are  his  bows. The archer decides  on the target, bends the bow to suit  his target  and  shoots  the  arrows.  The  arrows  are  the  children. Thus the archer wants the parents to serve as his instrument. If the bow remains rigid and inflexible, the arrows may not reach the desired destination. Therefore, as parents, it is our responsibility to be flexible enough to allow our children to live their own lives.

7.    How  is  the  parent  and  children  relationship  brought out in Kahlil Gibran‟s poem ‟On Children?  Or  Why  did  the  poet  believe  that  children  are  not  your children „but‟ ‟the sons  and  daughters of Life‟s  longing for itself” Explain?
Ans.  Gibran  assumes  Almustafa  and  speaks  to  the  people with the intention  ofenlightening them about „children' and to guide them as to how they should bring up their children.
1.  „Children‟  are  born  to  fulfill  the  „longing‟  of  life  itself. They  are  a  gift  from  the  richnessof  existence.  God,  the supreme  power,  uses  parents  as  a  vehicle  or  passage  to bring  children  to  this  earth.  Since  parents  do  not  create „life',  parents  do  not  own  children.  They  may  house.  their bodies but not their souls.
2.  „Children‟  have  their  own  souls  and  are  not  nonliving things.  Therefore,  parents  cannot  possess  them  as  puppets. Life‟  s  longing  for  itself  brings  forth  children  in  the  form ofsons and daughters. Hence, our sons and daughters do not belong to us though we have accepted them.
3. Parents bring children to this earth, they should also take care of children as stewards‟ and protect them, take care of their  needs  until  they  grow  and  mature  and  become  fully developed  individuals.  Parents  should  take  care  of  their needs  only and should  not  impose their thoughts and  ideas on them.   

8.    Explain  the  views  of  the  prophet  On  Children  and parents in the poem „On Children‟.    Or What  are  the  views  of  the  Prophet  on  children  in  the poem „On Children‟?   
Ans.According  to  the  Prophet,  a  child  is  a  gift  from  the abundance  of  existence  and  it  is  eternal  life‟  itself. Children are born as sons and daughters as „life‟s longing for  itself‟.  Parents  do  not  create  them  and  hence  cannot possess  them.  Parents  serve  as  a  „passage'  or  vehicle  to bring  the  children  to  this  world.  Further,  children  have their  own  thoughts  because  they  have  the  free  will  to  do as they please. Whereas parents belong to the yesterdays, their children belong to the future. The children Will have their own scriptures and saints; hence parents should  only give them as much love as they can and not their thoughts. Parents  should  not  push  their  past  as  atradition  on  their children  but  should  let  them  grow  according  to  their  own potential.  

  The speaker says „your children are not your children‟.
  They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing.
  They come through the parents but not from them.
  Though  they  are  with  the  parents,  yet  they  do  not belong to them.
  The arrows are children and bows are parents.
  The parents can give their love but not their thoughts.
  Because the children have their own thoughts.
  The parents may house their bodies but not their souls.
  Their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.
  The parents cannot visit in their dreams.
  The archer is God.
  The arrows are children and bows are parents.
  The bending is in the archer‟s hand.
  The archer loves the arrow that flies and the bow that is stable.  

  A woman requesting prophet to speak on children
  Children belong to life not to parents
  Parents can give love but not thoughts
  Parents may give shelter to bodies but not their souls
  Children‟s souls dwell in the house of tomorrow
  Bows- parents. Living arrows- children.
  God- the archer
  Archer loves both children and parent  

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