The Little Boy and His Mother.
Recently, a little boy and his mother, who had an unusual relationship according to the custom of the time, were sharing time when they had an interesting conversation.
The little boy lived with his dad, and he saw his mother a lot less than do most little boys he knows. He and his mother loved each other very much, and the little boy knew deep down inside himself that what his mother was doing instead of living with him was important for the world he lived in. She seemed to him a steady connection to the universe he knew to be the inner nature of all things.
He talked to her about things which he could not speak to anyone else about.
One day, after much discussion about the way things can influence the mind, the little boy shared a vision he had developed for his future. He said to his mother “When I grow up I’m going to be in a war.” His mother asked “Why? what will you do there?” The little boy said, “Because I want to, I will be killing people.”
His mother thought for a moment, then she said to him, “When you grow up, there won’t be any wars, no need to consider that for a job, what else do you think you might do?” He replied, “I don’t know, I can’t think of anything, could you help me think?”
The little boys mother said, “How about jobs where you help people?”. “Yes, that sounds good” said the boy “what kinds of jobs help people, what might some good job ideas be?”
His mother thought about it and then said,”Understanding how things are is helpful, the sciences, looking at the world as it appears to be and learning about numbers and mathematics. Learning about computers is good, helping people with problems, counselling and support roles are wonderful. Or nursing or even becoming a doctor are all helpful jobs. So is learning about the universe and God.”
“That’s ten” said the boy, “Ten different ideas of helpful jobs to do when I grow up.” “Yes,” said his mother, “now you don’t have to worry about having no war and no killing job to do.”
The little boy said, “When you think about it, if a dad went to war and got killed, his family would be terribly sad.” “That’s true” said his mother. “Even some mums go to war.” said the boy.
His mother said, “Imagine how awful it would be for a family to have their mother killed in a war.” The little boy said, “I would cry my eyes out for the rest of my life if that happened to our family.”
The mother said to the boy, “Really, when you think about it, a whole bunch of dads and mums getting together to kill each other makes no sense at all.” The little boy said “That’s true!” His mother said to him, “Because it makes no sense, people will not be doing it anymore by the time you grow up.”
The little boy said, “I’m glad, I’d rather be helping people than killing them.” “I’m glad too.” said his mother.
(paraphrases from an actual conversation between a 7 year old boy and his mother – me, one day in the car in 2009)