Conversations with children

What is treason?

Walking down the street, the prophet asked: “aren’t we all children of the same Eternal Father?”
The multitude agreed. And the prophet went on: “and if that is so, why do we betray our brother?”
A boy who was watching asked his father: “what does betray mean?”
“It means to trick your companion in order to gain a certain advantage.”
“And why do we betray our companion?” insisted the boy.
“Because in the past somebody began all that. Ever since then, nobody knows how to stop the wheel. We are always betraying or being betrayed.”
“Then I won’t betray anyone,” said the boy.
And so he did. He grew up and suffered a lot during his life, but kept his promise.
His children suffered less and endured fewer hardships.
His grandchildren did not suffer at all.

On jealousy

When she was eleven years old, Anita went to her mother to complain. “I can’t manage to have friends. They all stay away from me because I’m so jealous.”
Her mother was taking care of newly-born chickens, and Anita held up one of them, which immediately tried to escape. The more the girl squeezed it in her hands, the more the chicken struggled.
Her mother said: “try holding it gently.”
Anita obeyed her. She opened her hands and the chicken stopped struggling. She began to stroke it and the chicken cuddled up between her fingers.
“Human beings are like that too,” said her mother. “If you want to hold onto them by any means, they escape. But if you are kind to them, they will remain for ever by your side.”

The three things

Chen Ziqin asked Confucius’s son: “does your father teach you something that we don’t know?”
The other answered: “No. Once, when I was alone, he asked if I read poetry. I said no, and he told me to read some, because poetry opens the soul to the path of divine inspiration.
“On another occasion he asked whether I practiced the rituals of adoration of God. I said no, and he told me to do so, because the act of adoring would make me understand myself. But he never kept an eye on me to see if I was obeying him.”
When Chen Ziqin left, he said to himself:
“I asked one question and was given three answers. I learned something about poetry. I learned something about the rituals of adoration. And I learned that an honest man never spies on the honesty of others.”

In search of rain

After four years of drought in the little village, the parish priest gathered everybody to make a pilgrimage to the mountain; there they would join in communal prayer to ask for rain.
In the middle of the group the priest noticed a boy all wrapped up in warm clothes and covered by a raincoat.
“Are you crazy?” he asked. “It hasn’t rained in this region for five years and you’ll die of the heat climbing the mountain!”
“I’ve got a cold, father. If we are going to pray to God for rain, can you imagine the climb back down? The downpour is going to be so heavy that it’s better to be prepared.”
At that very moment a loud roar was heard in the sky and the first drops began to fall. The faith of a boy was enough to work a miracle that thousands of men were praying for.

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