Sometimes You Learn Most About Living from Children

My Dearest Son,

I thought I’d write this open letter to you and understand why do you do what you usually do. Perhaps then I can understand you better.

Firstly, why do you have to be vegetarian? Why can’t you be like the rest of the world who enjoy eating chicken and beef? Why do you instead show so much of love and care to animals, even the ones that seem untamed. You even spat out mock soy meat because of its rubbery texture. When your mother tried feeding you some egg, you refused. Why?

Why do you sleep by 9 o’clock every night? It’s almost ashram-styled timing. Lights out by nine. Why can’t you just stay up like many kids till past midnight. Wouldn’t that make it more convenient for night outings? Perhaps attending a night function. How many night functions do we have to leave early or give a miss because of this?

Why do you insist on hopping on your car seat each time we go out? Why can’t you be like the millions who roam freely in the car?  Wouldn’t this give you more freedom and flexibility? Wouldn’t this give you space to play with your toys in the car and make it easier so we don’t have to stop every hour or two to let you stretch your legs?

Why do you enjoy reading? I’m surprised. Why can’t you be like the others who enjoy playing toys and not reading books at this age. Even for the iPad, why do you only use it for half an hour before returning it to me? Why not have it as long as you want? Doesn’t it give you lots of joy to play with those games?

Talking about reading, why do you love selected books, like the works of Eric Carle or Margaret Wise Brown‘s Good Night Moon or Dr. Seuss. Don’t you know that most children prefer other kind of books? Why don’t you just prefer those “ABC Buah-Buahan” or some of those books easily available at night markets and stalls?

Why do you make us think twice about religious beliefs and being religiously institutionalized. Why do you actually prefer reading an affirmation versus praying at the altar?

Why do you show your love and affection to everyone you meet without prejudice? Don’t you know that as a human, we should hate some people and love others? I mean showing affection to family members is one thing, but to total strangers despite the fact that they probably never cared and never will care about your existence. Why?

Why do you forgive so easily? Why do you cool me down with your smile? Don’t you know that its quite “normal” to hold back some anger and resentment when someone makes you upset? Why then do you do the exact opposite?

The more I ask, the more I realize that I have a lot to learn from you. Not only lessons in appreciating beauty and being disciplined but also lessons in loving and forgiving.

As the great Sage Ashtavakra said:

Peace is everywhere for the wise person,
who lives on whatever happens to come,
going to wherever one feels like
and sleeping wherever the Sun happens to set.

O Master, Tell me how to find Detachment, wisdom, and freedom!
Child, If you wish to be free,
Shun the poison of the senses.
Seek the nectar of truth,
Of love and forgiveness,
Simplicity and happiness.
Earth, fire and water,
The wind and the sky– You are none of these.
If you wish to be free, Know you are the Self,

The witness of all these, The heart of awareness.
Set your body aside Sit in your own awareness.
You will at once be happy, Forever still, Forever free.

Photo Source: Flickr@mfakheri

Kugan Kumar

V.Kugantharan is the founder of Joy With Music, where he teaches adults and kids the joys of playing the piano. He also runs a web design agency, 504 Studios. A father of a very "opinionated" four-year-old, he divides his time between his passions -- blogging, reading, music, design and books.

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