A Bedtime Conversation about Personal Flavor of Ice Cream


“Mommy, why did the baby die?”

“She’d been very sick lately, Sweety.”

“So when people get sick, they die?”

“Not always – just when they are very sick and the doctors cannot cure them, they die.”

“And then?”

“And then?”

“What happen after they die?”

“Well, their bodies become lifeless, and they cease.”

“What is cease?”

“It’s like their bodies will break down into tiny pieces, so we don’t see them as bodies anymore.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Well, human bodies, and everything in this world, are made from tiny little pieces called atoms. They are so tiny that we cannot see them without using special tools. They can form a human, a dog, a cat, a tree, or even a rock or a chair.”

“Hmm…”

“And when a thing is broken or a living creature is dead, they will break down into these atoms. In times, the very same atoms can make another thing or living creatures through some process.”

“I still don’t understand.”

“OK, it’s like this. Atoms are like pieces of Lego. And when you make some stuff using your Lego, that’s how atoms form a larger stuff.”

“Uh-uh.”

“And someday, you run out of Lego pieces, but you still want to make stuff. So what do you do?”

“Err… Maybe I will break my older stuff and take the pieces to build something new.”

“Exactly. That’s what happens when someone dies. The atoms are torn apart to make other stuff. The same tiny pieces, only in different forms.”

“You should have used the Lego example from the first time, Mommy. That way I would understand earlier.”

“Hahaha. You’re right. My bad.”

“So people will disappear once they die?”

“I don’t know, Sweetheart. Some says life ends once you die. Some says each person has a soul, and even though the body dies, the soul will carry on living in another world. Either way, no one could provide a proof yet.”

“So once someone dies, we will never meet them again?”

“Not in the same form – not anymore. But for those who believe in afterlife – that’s life after death – they will meet again in the world of spirits.”

“I prefer that story than the previous one.”

“Good for you, then, Sweetheart.”

“But Mommy, who made us and animals and plants and stuff from the Lego pieces? Is that God?”

“Yes, some says it’s God. Some other says it’s the Mother Nature. Some says it’s science. Some says they still don’t know yet…”

“Which one should I believe?”

“It’s up to you, Honey. Belief is a personal thing. You don’t have to believe in something only because someone said so, or because they taught you, or even because I believe in it. It’s like our personal favorite flavor of ice cream; everyone has their own favorite, and it’s not right to say others’ choice is bad only because you don’t like it. Remember, there is neither right nor wrong in beliefs; there are only choices and decisions.”

“How about you, Mommy? What do you choose to believe?”

“Smart kid, aren’t you? Well, I believe that each of the answers has a piece of truth in them. They are all right in a way; yet they are not perfect individually. So you could say I am still searching for the best answer for myself.”

“But if all answers are right, can’t I just believe in all of them? Why make it difficult by choosing only one? Like me, I like chocolate ice cream, but I like vanilla, too. In time, I will get bored only having chocolate without having the vanilla sometimes.”

“Hahahaha. Of course you can, Sweetness. Believe in whatever you think is good for you, take the good thing from each belief, and spare the bad ones. You are free to choose make your own principles; do not let people tell you otherwise.”

“Okay.”

“In the end, Sweetheart, it doesn’t matter what you choose to believe, as long as you understand that every person has the freedom to believe or not to believe. As long as you make peace with your choice and live happily with it without upsetting other people, I think it’s good enough. I believe someday we will find the best answer, but in the meantime, we have to keep an open mind for all the possible answers.”

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