The parents are like a bow and the children are like the arrow

— Devansh madhok


Being a teenager and writing an article about a topic is something every generic teenager has to come across in his life, be it for school or an English exam or even for competitions or magazines. Now many times when we come across such a topic we are urged to speak in favour for the same, hoping that it would please the readers. But, I have always thought otherwise, expecting to write what I truly believe in and not lying to myself just to please the readers.

Now coming to this particular topic ‘parents are like the bows and the children are like the arrows ’ For me, this phrase has two different interpretations, an optimistic outlook and a pessimistic. Something I often believe in, just to break it down to you, I am not an optimist, neither am I a pessimist what I like to call to myself is a possibilist, a person who takes into account all possibilities.

My first and optimistic outlook is inspired by what I read in a book called ‘The Prophet’, by Kahlil Gibran. In this book, he wrote, Parents are like a bow and children are like arrows. The more the bow bends and stretches, the farther the arrow flies. He flew, not because he was special, but because they stretched for him.

Even though I completely agree with what Khalil said but my interpretation of this analogy is a tad bit different. For me the parents are the archers, the hardship, sacrifices and problems they deal with is the bow and the children are the arrows launched to hit the bull’s eye. Parents are somewhat similar to a boost, a boost that gives their children a head start to go and hit that bull’s eye. How far the bow stretches depends upon the parent’s ability to take the pain, the sacrifices, to fulfil their responsibilities and to assist their children to achieve their goal. The greater they stretch it, the greater the pain they need to bear and sacrifices they need to make to give their children the direction and momentum to fly higher, longer and faster in the pursuit of their dreams and aspirations. But, if the parents seek comfort and are unwilling to take up the pain and sacrifices, then the bow stretches slightly leading to a weak and short-lived life of the arrow incapable of hitting the bull’s eye which soon loses its momentum and falls short of its future direction.

It is up to the archer to stretch the bow and release the arrow. It is up to the archer to bear the pain of pulling the ligature as far as he can and to bear with as much pain it can so that the arrow can fly as fast and high as it can. For the target can only be struck if the arrow is enduring. The arrow can only fly if the bow is steady, and the bow can only be steady if the aim is apt.

Now my second and pessimistic opinion is a problem plaguing the many if not all countries. The problem of parental pressure, pressure by the parents who want their children to follow the trail they lay to the key to their dream. This happens many times when parents fail to succeed in their path, they put their hopes on their children to follow their own footsteps, counting upon their ward to climb the abyss of failure they failed to do. Many of you must have heard of the 4-time world record holding pop star Katty Perry, who has accomplished many dreams that people aspire to do. But, what many don’t know is that she was the daughter of two pastors. Katy was raised according to a strict religious code of conduct that prohibited co-ed dances, parties and many pop culture staples like movies and magazines. Her parents wanted her to take up the path they did, the path of the preacher. But, she thought otherwise, having achieved so much success and honour, her parents still despise her till this day.

It’s the same case in India, where parents think that forcing their child to take up the profession of engineering or medical science will bring them the glory they never achieved. This plaguing disease is one of the front running causes for the peaking suicide rates among teenagers. I believe the bow and arrow analogy is apt for this opinion. Where no matter how far the parents pull the bow of sacrifices and hopes, if the direction or the aim is diverted, then no matter how hard and fast the arrow flies, it can never hit the target. Everybody is a victor, in their own way, but the tricky part is puzzling over the nature of their game. Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is a stupid.” The direction should not be determined by the parents. The parents should provide the acceleration to the children dwelling in the arrow of tomorrow, to hit the target they aspire to do.

I would just like to end this article by asking you a few questions. Would you judge the ability of a fish by climbing a tree, or that of an ape by swimming in a pond? Would MS Dhoni be the proclaimed best captain of the Indian cricket team if he was forced by his parents into engineering course? Would there be a cricket team, if everyone was an engineer or a doctor?

The child is an arrow, he demands aim to land true.

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