…And They Will Fly!
It seems like just yesterday I hung a framed copy of the essay “On Children,” from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, in my first child’s nursery. It expresses the thought that our children "do not belong to us, but to life's longing for itself and they live in the house of tomorrow, which we cannot visit, even in our dreams."
Like most maturing youth, I felt the older generations failed to understand not only who I was, but where I was going. I hung those words to remind me, there would come a day I would need to release the arrows from my bow and have faith in their flights. That day has come and I cannot imagine – even in my dreams – where they are going.
As I watch our youth push the cutting edge – now moving at light speed – I know I cannot go there. Not only because it’s impossible, but because I’m too tired! With their noses constantly in their electronics, I realize there is something the endless streams of technology, information, and the ever-broadening horizon of possibilities will not give them.
Though we provide our children the best possible education, expose them to diverse cultures, drive them to music lessons and sporting events, live in “good” neighborhoods, and give them a solid structure of ethics and values, there is one powerful ingredient for success that must be present above all the rest. It is the one gift that outweighs everything else we offer our children.
Belief. A steadfast belief in their abilities and their dreams. Tell them, not just once, but many times, that you believe in them, because they may not be listening or ready to hear. Tell them at every idea, every success, every turning point, and every time they fall. Tell them not only with words, but with actions. Tell them you believe and will help them to build their launching pad. You may never understand and you may not be able to imagine, but know that this is the most powerful gift you can give a child.
It can come from a parent, a relative, a teacher, a friend, or even a stranger, but it must come. A child with a dream and someone who believes in them will cross all barriers and fly to success. Imagine all the amazing people in our world who crossed horrific barriers to give us so much. I believe there was an unsung hero standing on their sidelines helping each to find their wings.
Today, watch with joy as the children in your life find their strengths, narrow their focus, and begin to spread their wings as you continue to tell them you believe. Because, if we tell them, they will fly!