Sunday, October 11, 2015

My son asked if God made the bad people

Sometimes your children can jolt you out of a daydream with a what the *BLEEP* kind of question. I had just picked Kit up from preschool and we were happy with the comfortable silence you sometimes get after all the hugs and kisses and “I miss you” were said and done with.

“Mom, where do all the bad people come from? Did God make them? Are they bad or do they become bad?” asked the six-year-old. Woah. Babe, what have they been feeding you in school?!

What do you say to a child who has figured out in his sweet innocent head that since God made man, and God being good, so why would God make someone who is bad or evil? (“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”)

Ok so... this was what went through my head in that few split seconds after Kit asked the question. God made mankind as a reflection of his holiness. Yet at the same time, God gave mankind/Adam the ability to make choices. Mankind then made some lousy decisions and we fell from grace, et cetera, et cetera.

I am not a religious person; agnostic even. (This is the part where I risk losing FB friends because politics and religion are surefire ways to kill friendships.) What I have read or learned about God, Buddha, and other religious beliefs are based on what I’ve learned growing up among Christian relatives, studying in a Catholic school, reading, and travelling all over the world. So do I go the religious route. Or do I go all scientific with the nature versus nurture route.

This is what I told my child in the end. I told him that God made man (because this is what Kit believes in), but some people choose to do bad things later on in their lives. They might have learned it from other bad people or something happened which made them turn bad. Or, I paused, their parents might not have taught them the right things.

Our children are born a clean slate. We mould their life story based on how we see the world. How our parents have taught us and brought us up. Sometimes it is very overwhelming to know that my words and actions can change the child next to me.

He was silent after I answered him. I guess I’d have to be prepared for the next round of questioning.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mr Lee promised us a garden city

Tree planting ceremonies were a big deal when I was growing up in the 70s. This initiative was part of our then prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew's vision of turning Singapore into a garden city because he felt it was "important that the whole island be clean, green and with everyone owning property".

I remember images of Mr Lee planting trees in some part of Singapore or another. I didn't think much of it then.

But now, I feel so much pride just looking at the big tall trees with their thick foliage and the thriving bird nest ferns sitting snugly on the branches. They are everywhere we turn. They are an everyday sight that many, I would imagine, have taken for granted. But these trees have brought so much joy to our family.

A tree is not just "a tree". It has seen my boys grow up as they walk to school. Its dead branches served as toy swords for my sons to play with. Its roots improved the boys' balance as they walked on the roots, with their arms spread out. Today, the three of us tried to see if we could hold one another's hand around a big tree near our house. We could. I couldn't see the boys' faces although I could hear them giggling away.

Mr Lee has left behind a beautiful legacy. One that I hope can be appreciated for generations to come.

Read the National Park's tribute to Mr Lee here.
The photograph was taken with the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 camera.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

MWAC: Try Jesus. He Never Fails.

Jesus loves me
Yes I know

Try Jesus. He never fails.
A broken down truck sighted before arriving at the historic gold-mining town of Coulterville in California (Taken with the Polaroid Sun LMS)

Kit asked me yesterday: "Mom, I would like to speak with God. Where is he?"

"He is everywhere. What do you want to say to him?" I said.

"I want to ask him to make us again when we die so that I can see you again," said my 5yo as he eyes welled up with tears.


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