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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Tao and Not Tao

I was paraphrasing the Tao Te Ching for Aviva and Noah, and I told them this bit, roughly from chapter 33:

Which is smarter:
knowing about other people
or knowing about yourself?

"Knowing about other people," said Aviva, as if this were obvious.

Which is harder:
being in charge
or having will power?

"Hmm," said Aviva. "Being in charge."

Which is better:
having a huge pile of things
or having exactly what you want?

"Having a huge pile of things," said Aviva.
"Really?" I said, a little taken aback. "Why?"
"Daddy," said Aviva chidingly, "it's not good for people to have everything they want."

Posted by benrosen at October 3, 2006 03:59 PM | Up to blog

Not sure why - but this post reminded me of a discussion I had with Eli (almost 4 years old for those who don't know him) a few days ago. He wanted to know if it was a "Shabbat Day". I said no... and he got quite upset. He explained that he loved Shabbat and wanted it to be that day. I asked what he wanted to do (suspecting that it was all about having fresh Challah) - and he surprised me slightly with looking at me like I was crazy and saying that he wanted everything. I explained carefully that part of what made Shabbat special is that it only happens one day a week - but he didn't seem particularly satisfied. Just kept telling me "but mommy, I love Shabbat days".

He has also started composing his own prayers on friday nights. The first time he made me not listen ("it's private mommy") - but later that night he asked me if I wanted to learn his prayer. This was a prayer over his lemonade:
"The sun loves the candle
The candle loves the sun
The sun lights the flags"
(the flags = tibetan prayer flags that hang on our sliding glass door and through which the morning sun shines most days)

Posted by: Jeanne at October 6, 2006 10:37 AM

Funny, I would have answered precisely the opposite to how Aviva responded to each question.

But of course, the point is not to answer, but to ask the questions.

Kids are amazing.


Posted by: Matt Hulan at October 6, 2006 11:31 AM

You just couldn't resist trying the Turing test out on your kid, huh?

Posted by: Jackie M. at October 7, 2006 01:07 AM
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