When a 10-Year-Old Asks, “What’s the Point of Living When We’re Just Going to Die?”

Hi Readers — My friend Nancy McDermott, a columnist at  Spiked-Online,  wrote this to me the other day. It was not apropos of the Sandy Hook shooting, just apropos  of being alive, being a parent, and being a realist, which means (believe it or not) being grateful. – L.

My son turned 10 the other day and got out of bed late on the night of his birthday and tearfully asked me what is the point of living if we’re just going to die in the end. (He’s a very old soul.) So I held him and told him because that is the miracle of people, because we know how it’s going to end but we still laugh and love one another and strive for the impossible anyway. We are part of the great thing that is humanity that goes on even when we are gone. We think these thoughts as other people before us have and as other people after us will. And that we don’t have to worry about it for a very long time in any case. That’s the best I could do short of reading him Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. I’m not sure whether that helped or if it was just the hug, but he shrugged and went back to bed. All the big questions and when you least expect them. – Nancy

A shout out to Walt, who was expecting us.

Sorry, comments and trackbacks have now been closed.