Children and religion

I was chatting to a friend recently about religion and whether children should have a choice in what religion they are raised. If you ask most Indian parents, they will tell you children don’t have a choice. Pretty much every one I knew growing up was raised as a Hindu, celebrating Diwali and Janmashtmi, being vegetarian on certain days of the week to honour a particular God. I was raised that way myself (by my mum). However, I was also exposed to lots of other religions as my dad chose to experiment to find the right fit for himself. Adding on to that, I went to a Bahai boarding school in India where we had no choice but to learn all the Bahai prayers and then I went to a Christian boarding school in Dublin where I had no choice but to attend Chapel every morning. When it comes to religion, I have all my bases covered.

And yet, I choose not to raise S in a religious manner. I know this is a bit of a a controversial topic so if you think you might take offence, read this awesome post instead.

I look around me and I see far too many people who claim to be religious harbouring feelings of hate, jealousy and greed, etc. I witnessed someone place his hand on a picture of his guru and lie through his teeth. I know of someone else who will prostrate on the ground in front of an idol and yet ignore and ostracize friends. I see human beings killing other human beings all in the name of God and it saddens me. I’m sure when religions were founded, there was meaning to them. There was honour and respect. People respected religion. But we changed as a world and we took our religious texts and we twisted them. So really, I don’t have a problem with religion. I take issue with what we’ve made of religion in the 21st century.

Instead, I’d like to raise S to understand about the laws of karma. To know that what comes around, goes around. To be kind and compassionate. To put himself in other people’s shoes. To understand that words hurt and once said, they can’t be taken back. To act in a manner that he can live with. To have a conscience! To listen to his gut, his inner voice. To reflect and learn from his mistakes.

We all have moments of weakness, moments of anger, moments of frustration. I want him to be able to handle those moments with grace and dignity. With his head held high.

I want him to have gratitude for all that he has and I want him to have faith. Faith in himself. Faith that whatever circumstances he’s put through, there’s a lesson to be learnt.

Essentially I just want him to…

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