An awkward moment
I was having a conversation with friends, whose religious affiliation I don’t know other than “not the same as me,” about heritage and rumors of Native American heritage as long-ago family scandal. One of my young children piped up:
“We all have Native American heritage, because we all come from Adam and Eve.”
The moment following her statement was short, but I was at once aware that several people in the room were possibly wondering how I could take my child to a church which teaches Adam and Eve. At the same time I was aware of the need not to shake my child’s faith in the things she has been taught. Faith has carried me through many hard places and I believe she will need the strength it can impart. I could have quite fascinating discussions about human origins with either my daughter or my friends, but they start in such different places that I did not know what words to use which would harm no one. I needed to change the subject rapidly so that our pleasant visit would not be turned into something else entirely.
I wish I’d had the presence of mind to say “Yes honey, when we get down to it all humans are related.” I don’t really know what it was I stammered instead, but because my guests are good people the topic changed and a pleasant afternoon was had.
I don’t know that anyone else felt the awkwardness of that moment as I did. Perhaps they thought nothing of it. The event has me thinking about the difficulty of teaching matters of belief to children when others who hold different beliefs are nearby. I wonder if I need to be more courageous about this. I tend to keep discussions of belief behind closed doors. My beliefs are safe there where they won’t draw attack or ridicule. One of the most frightening realizations in my adult life was that there are people in the world with whom I will never be able to peacefully coexist because our belief systems are so far divergent. Yet it is by sharing these close-to-our-hearts beliefs that we have the best chance of understanding each other.
I have no answers, except to know that if I am ever in the position that my friends were in, I will try to do as they did. They did not let difference of belief make them think any less of me and I truly appreciate that.
Mirrored from onecobble.com.