Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A Child Is Born

There can be no greater gift parents can give their children than encourage them to develop a strong sense of personal identity, including sexual identity, and love them all the more for it. (There is no reason for personal/sexual identity to be at odds with its socio-cultural-religious counterparts if only the latter were less domineering - to the point of bullying - in some parts of the world.)

No parent should expect to live the life they may have missed out on through their children. While this may be understandable in the sense that some parents want more for their children than they had when they were young, I have seen too many parents overstep the mark in their misplaced enthusiasm to recapture lost opportunities. Children and young people need guidance, of course, but there is a big difference between guidance and manipulation. We all need to  develop a sense of discernment that encourages us to make our own choices. Yes, mistakes will be made, that's par for the course from birth to grave.

My father was often heard to comment  about many things that ‘It’s all a game of bluff.’As I have grown old, I often finding myself saying much the same. As for who is bluffing whom, now that's the million dollar question to which many if not most of us can expect to spend a lifetime trying to decide.

For anyone interested, I have inserted (below) my reading of the poem on Brighton beach, December 21st 2010, my 65th birthday. (I am 70 now.) I should add that this was in the early days of my You Tube channel before my friend Graham (who shoots and edits the videos) and I discovered how to insert a voice file so I could read my poems over any filming.

Life is, indeed, the making of us, from the first steps we take to our last; full of opportunities taken, rejected or missed altogether, no one to praise or blame for how we turn out but the inner self that sees all, no place to hide.


A child is born
who needs must learn about life
and signs pointing
to survival as the name of a game
of bluff

A child is born
who needs must learn about trust
and how to discern
where hypocrisy infiltrates

A child is born
who needs must learn that giving
is a finer art
than receiving, compassion
no weakness

A child is born
who needs must learn how there
is no shame in asking
for help, but sure proof
of maturity

A child is born
who needs must learn how lying
costs more than honesty
and can leave a human heart

A child is born
who needs must learn how neither
our stars nor betters
are ultimately responsible for us,
only ourselves

A child is born
who needs must discover that love
comes in all shapes
and forms and to recognise them
at the time

A child is born
who needs must learn one lesson
above all else, to be
as we are, not how others
might have us

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010; 2016

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