Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Good Heart

I know you probably went about this in a different way than I did, but on the other hand, your kid is not Maeve, right? I mean to say, please try not to take offense at the following essay, even if it is not how you would have gone about it. Religion is a tricky subject with children, doubly so with my scientific little bean.

Nevertheless, I broached the subject of religion with Maeve yesterday, in the kitchen while I put clean dishes away.  I explained to her that a 'religion' is a set of beliefs and customs that bring people together, a set of beliefs that are outside the realm of proof.

Of course, Maeve dismissed these proofless ideas at first, and told me it was all pretend. I explained again that there are a lot of ideas in the world that exist without proof, yet people believe them every day, including me. I told her I believe that people are inherently good, despite the fact that I can't prove that. Then I gave her a quick overview of some world religions, especially the ones in which members in our family believe, including my own Unitarian Universalism.

She looked thoughtful for a minute. Then she said, "Mom, I have a religion."

I said, "Oh yeah, Sweetie? Tell me about your religion."

"I believe all people have a good heart," she reported earnestly. 

And I kissed her cheek and told her that was a very good religion.

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