I’m trying to teach my boys to be free thinking. To ask lots of questions. Seek answers that make sense. Here’s a few conversations from the week that absolutely make my heart full.
Out of nowhere:
G (age 6): I’ve decided I want to be the government.
G: If I’m the government I get everyone’s taxes and I’ll be super rich.
Us: (A quick lesson in responsibility of government and some of the things our taxes are used for)
G: Nevermind. Maybe I don’t want to be the government. I just want to be rich.
Us: It usually costs people a lot to be rich. They often sacrifice time and relationships and health. Just something to think about. We can’t wait to hear your next big idea!
Yesterday, the boys and I sat down to watch this video.
In brief the video is about the US government using soldiers to experiment with the Abomb. It cost these soldiers exposure to high levels of radiation and many of them suffered at the hands of cancer.
J: I can’t believe it, mom! Can you believe it? That’s just disgusting.
Me: What can’t you believe, J? What’s upsetting to you?
J: The government. The military. The US government cared more about their bombs than they did their soldiers. They didn’t care what happened to those soldiers. They only cared about their bombs. That makes me super angry and super sad. They should care about people.
Me: I agree with you, J. Sadly, this kind of stuff happens all the time. Sometimes on a lesser scale. Sometimes it’s just a boss that cares more about money than his employees. Sometimes it’s cigarette makers or advertisers in general who care more about selling their product than how that product will hurt people. We have to think about everything that we are asked to do. Even if the government is asking it of us. Do you think those soldiers knew how badly their bodies were being hurt?
J: I don’t know. They did say they could see their bones and the bombs burned their skin. But they probably had to make money by being a soldier so they could feed their kids. And I don’t think the government gave them a choice. Uhhhhhh, I’m so mad. Care about people, seriously!
Me: J, your empathy for people and your ability to think about ideas that others don’t makes you super beautiful. I love your spirit.
J: That bomb was really pretty cool until you know how many people it hurt.
Me: Yep. Bombs are pretty spectacular. Imagine how much damage an A-bomb would cause if it’s dropped on your city. Pretty sad stuff.
J: Yeah, I can’t wait to tell dad this. He’s never gonna believe it. Our government. Our very own government. Definitely not gonna believe it.
On a lighter note S has been thinking about France from a perspective I’ve never though about.
S: Is the Eiffel Tower surrounded by a force field?
Me: No, why?
S: Maybe not just the Eiffel Tower but France. Is France protected by a force field?
Me: I’m not following, S. Why do you think the Eiffel Tower and France are surrounded by a force field?
S: Because there’s always men who look like they can’t get past the force field there. They’re always like this (mimics a mime).
Me: (laughing)…those men are mimes. They are pretending to be stuck behind something like a glass wall, an invisible wall, or a force field I guess.
S: Oh, I just thought that’s how the Eiffel Tower was guarded so nobody could get past.
Me: It’s really fun to think of it that way. Thanks for the laugh this morning.
S/Me: Laughing and miming our way out of my force field protected bedroom.