Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Seeing Reality Through The Eyes of a Child

There were some questions bubbling inside me, which I wanted to ask and share with Raghav today, just to find out his perspective, and open my eyes out to other ways of seeing.

I was talking to him about the earthquake in Nepal and how many people had died and how many things were simply just rubble now. And then, I asked him what he felt about it, and what he had to say. Here is what he said:

"Yes, it is sad that so many people died and so much was destroyed. It is weird that so many earthquakes happen here in India. But earthquakes have to happen. That is what makes the Himalayas grow. That is what helps reshape the land. So if you look at the Himalayas maybe a few hundred years later, it would look very different. It would have changed. Things will probably change a lot near the area where the two plates meet, but maybe not so much far away from it."

The other question I had in mind was this:
"The other day you wanted to go with Armaan out to eat lunch. If I had told you then, that there are so many children and people who are so poor that they don't have even one little meal to eat in one day, what would you have done? Would you still want to go? What or how do you think you would have felt or thought?"

Here is what he said:

"I would have still gone, because I love eating out. Yes there are people like that who are poor and don't have food, but they can get money somehow."

Me: "How can they get money when they are poor?"

R: "Well, they can perhaps find some work to do or beg...."

Me: "Would you want them to beg?"

R: "Yes, that is one way..... like at the traffic signal we see so many people who do that,
and only because there are people who beg, are there people who can be kind and give them money. Some people may not give them money, but some people might. But there might also be people who dress up like beggars, even when they already have a lot of money, because they are greedy and want more. You will never know no? Do you think there might be people like that?"

Me: "Maybe. I don't know. But how did you think of this?"

R: "Well, that's just something I thought of....that's my opinion."

This conversation stirred up something inside and left me exposed and vulnerable. I saw how deeply entrenched I was in ideas and concepts about poverty and begging and kindness and compassion and right and wrong. I sat with those thoughts and feelings until I felt ready inside to share this with the world. It wasn't easy for me as a mother to listen to this from my child. It wasn't easy because I realised what 'fixed' notions I had about these things and so I was seeing my child through that filter. What he said, threw away that filter from before my eyes, and then I was in a space, with more spaciousness and freedom, to share this vulnerably.

Today, I am happy that when he asked me a few days ago, I couldn't answer his question "what is compassion?", and was able to tell him that I simply didn't know yet and that I too was wanting to find that out. And that I didn't feed him with someone else's idea of what that was. 
Today, I am happy that in spite of all the 'wrongs' we did with him, there was something larger than all of that which had a 'rightness' to it. 
Today, I am happy to have set him free, as I set myself free yet again from this tethered world.

So how would you see my son and his words right now?
Would you see this as an expression of 'insensitivity', 'compassion', 'ignorance', 'arrogance', 'immaturity', 'maturity', 'humility' or 'loving what is'?
Would you be able to watch yourself and your feelings and thoughts, as those words came and 'pierced' or 'rested' in your being?
And would you open yourself up to sharing those with me?

1 comment:

  1. This is normal child inquiry. The simplistic processing of a fast maturing mind!


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