Monday, 12 April 2010

A lesson in Theology


Oh! You Atheists and Agnostics please do not run away from this post, I am not here to preach about God. This post is all about how a casual walk with a couple of youngsters turned out be an interesting one hour, trying to answer difficult questions and admiring the thought process of the younger generation.

Yesterday, Hubs and I took our friends kids, a girl aged 8 years (M) and a boy aged 10 years(K) for a walk near the Lancaster canal. Our friends were going to join us there in some time.  The kids are boisterous and intelligent, always full of questions and curious observations. It all started with their recent fad of making wands out of sticks, a la Harry Potter style. Being a Harry Potter fan myself, we discussed the spells you can cast with your wand and Hubs created new ones like 'Archimedes Galileo'.

After some discussion about 'How Earth was considered flat by people many centuries ago' , the conversation turned to God. 'M' was walking with me so I was the wise seer for her and  boy!, did she ask some questions? My head made a 360 degrees turn quite a few times and became wobbly at the base, so much so that I had to hold on to it with dear life. 

M: Is there a God? How does HE look?
LP:What do you think? (This googly, splattered my brain on the pavement, I was busy collecting it with a sponge and a bucket).
M: Of course, God is there.. else how do they make all these movies in which they show god (You can't beat that logic).
LP: So, how do you think HElooks?
M: Well, HE has an elephant head and is wearing a sari like thingy...
LP: It's called a 'Dhoti'.
M: Do you think 'God' is right now there with us somewhere on this Earth?
LP: Yes, Could be, I am not too sure (By this time, my brains had been mopped up from the pavement and were lying in a heap in a bucket).
I had to have a counter offensive so I asked her.
LP: So then who is Jesus?  Is HE God ? HE does not have an elephant head, how can HE be God?
M: Yes HE is , my friend J is a Christian and she says HE is...
I have cousins and they have cousins whom I have never met, but you know we are related, so we are a part of a big family even if we have never met. Some of our family in other countries call him Jesus and we call him Ganesh (At this point I was in a completely 'awwwww' moment).
LP: Hmmm...

And then our conversation shifted completely to other important things.
M: Do you know how this world was made? How earth was made?
LP: I so wanted to spew out the Big Bang Theory...but thought it would lead to questions, for which I had answers, but which her 8 year old mind is still not ready to process. I went for the safe 'We are still trying to understand a lot of it'. Scientists around the world are working on it....
M: She was a little shocked with my answer...I could see the wheels turning in her head 'How can that be, we have questions and how can there be no answers?'.
I dodged a few such serious questions like 'Can a Crocodile and a Duck have a baby together?' (I had messed up a talk with a teenager about birds and bees sometime back, so did not want to take a risk with such an impressionable mind).

I could see hubs and 'K' walking a little ahead of us, having a mock Sword fight with sticks in their hands(Ha! Men can always amuse themselves with guns, wars and sword fights. It is left to us women to think and ponder about the big questions of life).

I could see our friends some distance away, walking towards us when another question was hurled at me,  'What is infinity?' 

I breathed a sigh of relief that my dignity was still intact, even after an hour long 'Theology discussion' with an 8 year old. I suddenly have a renewed respect for school teachers who handle more than 40 such youngsters each day.

P.S: It was so refreshing to know, how a young mind works. I was glad that the conversation was not about clothes, games and TV or other materialistic things.

37 comments:

Lazy Pineapple said...

can u guys comment now?

Anjali said...

I lost my previous comment. Will try again.

I could relate to the post. My 2 are at the age where the questions are just beginning. Even then I scramble to be a step ahead of them. We are still not at the God stage. Thank goodness.

Anjali said...

this is easier to comment now.

savvy said...

Its amazing that kids sometimes ask the most relevant questions of life. There U had a great walk with kids. .
And this is my first comment on your Blog. . And i intend to come for more of ur posts. .take care

Lakshmi Rajan said...

//I have cousins and they have cousins whom I have never met, but you know we are related, so we are a part of a big family even if we have never met. Some of our family in other countries call him Jesus and we call him Ganesh//

Ha ha this is one of the simplest but cutest answer I have ever come across :)*sighs* If the grown-ups can such a simplistic approach to religion, world would be a better place, right?

P.s> seems like you are on a header experimentation :P

Hmmm now i can comment... but love the earlier template for commenting that did not show this blogger screen... see if u can fix that..

ViShaL said...

Interesting post...it's actually true that conversations sometimes go unexpected and with kids...you gotta b on your toes.

They have wat I would say 'Intelligent' questions which leave you puzzled

bollywoodstylediaries said...

This is such a tough thing to explain - I am not looking forward to this conversation with my daughter:-)

karan a said...

The younger generation is much faster, intelligent and more informed! It is we who need to grow with their pace of working...

Questions put by kids are mostly irritating because either we are not sure abt the answer or we are not sure how to present that answer!

Pooja said...

children have simple opinions about everything. it is not complicated by worldly experiences. i think while growing up we tend to forget certain things which were a given when we were young. we get influenced which confuses our thoughts.

it is really refreshing to talk to kids, they are the ones with the best advice.

Anirban said...

Life is so much easier when you're a kid. Easy for grown-ups to lie thinking that kids will forget. They usually don't.

Chatterbox said...

Wonderful post :)
Answering kids curiosities can be a real challenge and giving them convincing answers being biggest challenge of all :D :D

(¯`•._.•[Raajii]•._.•´¯) said...

aww... kids have the best logic. We should listen to them sometimes :-)

Parth J Dave said...

Wow! Seriously, kids can be really intelligent. They are always curious to know new things.

About the school teachers part, I may not agree with you on that. At school, there's always discipline and students are taught to follow strict rules and regulations. It has been a year since I finished my schooling, and I know for sure, one can't develop an out-of-the-box thinking at a place where everyone is taught to do the same old boring things... at least in India, don't know about UK.

I really enjoyed reading this post of yours, especially your reactions to those tough questions.. Haha!

P.S. The new blog template looks awesome!

Nish said...

If yo were able to handle that last question "What is infuinity" then rest assured you are qualified for being a teacher too :D ...

The innocence is so charming...Loved the converstaion

Nish said...

And hey...This new look is so soothing...pleasing really

Dagny Taggart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dagny Taggart said...

I loved this post, children and their intrigue

my fav part was "I have cousins and they have cousins whom I have never met, but you know we are related, so we are a part of a big family even if we have never met. Some of our family in other countries call him Jesus and we call him Ganesh" wonder why all the adults cannot understand this simple yet profound fact....

PS: great template, it is so refreshing!!! :)

Scribe said...

I loved M's answer about God and Jesus. I've always felt that we're one family and while the characters' names may change, there is always a common thread running through all religions. I'm thankful that the younger generation has picked up on this so easily where many adults are still fighting.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Anju:Ha! I know what you mean...goodluck for that :)

Savvy: Hey wow..thanks and welcome to my blog :) Hope to see you around more...

Lakshmi: Yeah, kids are so pure minded...I was so amazed by the comment made by M...I had to write this post :)

Oh not experimenting with the template, actually I installed Disqus and now I have lost all comments on my previous post :( any ideas how to retrieve them?

Lazy Pineapple said...

Vishal: welcome to my blog :)
Kids are full of curiosity and wonder and sometimes it becomes difficult to answer some of their questions :)

Sonali: All the best, girl :) I know it is so tough...

Karan: I think it is because of so much exposure they have to the internet and television...at least my generation had to read books to get that information...

I feel kids process information in a totally different way...

Pooja: I agree with you...a very uncomplicated way of thinking, which is so refreshing..

Lazy Pineapple said...

Anirban: Oh yes...kids are tenacious and they will remind you what you had said earlier...especially at the most awkward moments :P

Chatterbox: So true...my policy is to never lie and feed wrong information...accepting that you don't know is a better way to be...

Raaji: Kids have wonderfully simplistic powers of reasoning...

Parth: Oh wow...you are so young :)
In UK there is out of the box teaching...not the usual stuff that happens in India. There is no race here to score marks...

I am glad you like the template...I loved it.

Nish: I did explain it to them...but the girl was perplexed by the concept...her ideas of the Universe were that it was a round thing :)

I am so glad that you guys are liking this template....

Dagny: Thanks dear :) oh yes...I had to write this post :)

Scribe: So agree with you...I hate this fighting about religion...Kids got it right :)

The knife said...

Well, as they say children say the darnedest things.

I have gone through stages of agnoticism and atheism but I strongly belive that a lot of our problems today are due to adult interpretations of 'God'

magiceye said...

keep life simple! the way children think!
its adults who complicate life
good to see that can comment now. tried yesterday but :(

AmitL said...

haha..LP, that was a fun conversation.:)And,I'm amazed to see some kids actually discuss something besides video games, and Pogo and Cartoon Network.:)
-----
How could you, though answer their questions with counter questions?(IF you'd read 'The Secret', you'd have answered all correctly..haha)
----
But yes, I'm impressed-you actually understand the Big Bang Theory? Please write about it here.(And, don't say, like our college prof said for greenhouse effect-he said' you grow green things in a house and that's.....)....ROFL.

Lazy Pineapple said...

The knife: Yes, kids sure do say the darndest things :)

Magiceye: Sorry about that :(
I wish we could think about life as simply as kids do..

Amit: Yeah..I was amazed too..
I had to have a counter offensive, afterall I was not their parent and did not know how much Info I should be giving to them :)

I understand somewhat of the Big bang theory...not all of it :P

heheh

Divya said...

wow... ur daughter is really so wise!! kids should be encouraged during this period... their brains can become extremely creative :)

Tanvi said...

I definitely enjoy interacting with kids more than adults sometimes. They have absolutely different outlook and at least makes you think :)

Smita said...

As I always say, kids these days can outsmart us in a matter of seconds!! But I must say you handled the kid well :)

Farila said...

Great post.. kids with their innocence can be great teachers to us.. I love the logic of God based on movie making LOL.. She beat everything I have heard so far LOL

Lazy Pineapple said...

Divya : Welcome to my Blog... I have no kids re...these are my friends kids I wrote about.

Tanvi: Welcome to my Blog :) they sure so...but sometimes they can be a pain in the Ass too :)

Smita: Dhanyawad :) Kids these days hae a lot of exposure...we were taught to think in the box...

Farila: Yeah I loved her logic too...made me want to laugh :)

Mr. Stupid said...

For an Eight year old, she sure is smart. Her questions were all pretty impressive.
Kids can be very curious and think of things in a different perspective.
BTW, who won the fight between the guys. They sure were using lots of spells... tee hee

Glad the Comments are working. I requested Mr. Blog Dude from Blog planet to make it work. (Okay, I confess that's a lie)
I telephoned him. (Another lie)

Take care...:)

Samadrita said...

Can a duck and crocodile make a baby?Lol you sure were in a fix ma'am :)
Men can always amuse themselves with guns, wars and sword fights. It is left to us women to think and ponder about the big questions of life
*nods head in agreement*
Nice little anecdote!

Manjunath said...

Nice questionnaire session out there well you managed well without messing it up,

i know few kids who are under 15 still talk about dimensions, ET theories and evolutionary theories and much more which is way beyond their age... but no doubt the intelligence of now a days kids are far beyond our imaginations!

Lazy Pineapple said...

Mr. Stupid: Yes she sure is a smart kid :)
Btw thanks for calling the blog dude to fix the comments form :P

Samradita: Thanks :) that question was pretty dangerous :)

Manjunath: Welcome to my blog :) I thank my lucky stars for not messing up that conversation :P
Kids now a days have so much of exposure which makes them quite curious :)

indianhomemaker said...

Loved this conversation. I think you were very smart to let her do all the answering :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks :) I feel that some subjects are to be handled by the parents and It was not right on my part to put my ideas there...

Rajendra Raikwar said...

nice one..

Post a Comment