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.
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.
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.
- Kahil Gibran
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks at The Mama Ada Foundation. We recently held our ninth annual gala in Minnesota. This event is not only a fundraiser for students and farmers in Kenya - it is also a celebration of friendships, near and far. One of my fondest memories from this year’s gala will be the young people who joined us (some even volunteered to help us put on the event!).
During our evening’s program, we talked about the hopes and dreams of young people in Kenya to go to school; and, we talked about the simple wish and need for all families to have food on their tables. Children were literally squirming in their chairs with excitement about how they might give to our friends in Kenya.
Because kids get it, they really do. Kids often quickly say yes to helping a friend, and then share a big hug of happiness. I’m often inspired by children’s responses of spontaneous imagination and boundless excitement when they hear of opportunities to be global givers and stewards of our collective well-being.
My son, Evan Keller, spoke about why he gives his own money for kids in Kenya to go to school; he also spoke about why he thinks that it’s important for all kids to have the opportunity for education. I recall some years ago when Evan, upon learning that our organization did not have funds for all the students on our list to go to school, quickly said that he would give his Christmas gift money to The Mama Ada Foundation. His speed at making this offer brought tears to my eyes, as have donations from his younger brother, Ben, and many other children since then.
At The Mama Ada Foundation, we believe that young people must know one another, both here and around the globe. We believe the future of this world rests on our children dreaming and taking action for a better future for all. And we must remember that they are watching us closely, so let’s do our best to show them ways to reach out to others….so that they will take this spirit of giving forward into their future.
P.S. If you’d like to ask for donations for your birthday, instead of other gifts, you can set up your own fundraiser at https://www.classy.org/events/youre-invited-to-birthday-party/e78388 It’s a really fun way to celebrate your big day by helping students and farmers in Kenya – both for kids and adults!
- Julie Keller