I can still envision the look on the face of my 10th grade English teacher when he passed back my excellent grade on The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It said: “Why wasn’t the quality of your work the same when we had been studying A Tale of Two Cities?”
With all due respect to Charles Dickens, and no matter how compelling his characters, I simply found the psychology & philosophy of Gibran’s prose to be much more interesting than Dicken’s perspective on The French Revolution. I still do.
Much of Kahlil Gibran has stayed with me through the years, and there are times I recall his words when parents begin to discuss or dispute custody or shared parenting. “Your children come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
We are not our parents and our parents are not us. However the lines are not hard and fast, but rather like a watercolor where the images seep between each other. To enable parents to bring their best selves to bear as they raise their children, it is imperative they gain clarity on their relationships with their own parents, and with one other. This is a difficult task for happily married people. When you layer that task on top of argument and strife it’s easy to understand how quickly tempers can flare and reason can become riddled with emotion.
It is my experience that when parents are reminded of how fleeting time is with their young children, they are better able to gain perspective on co-parenting: What’s worth fighting for, what’s worth fighting against, and what’s not worth a fight at all.