Of Hell and the Afterlife.
A few days ago, Tiarnan asked an unexpected question, his face a wonder of utmost seriousness.
“Is there a planet called Hell?”, he enquired of his mother.
Before she could answer, mired as she was in surprise, since we had never spoken of Hell to him, he posed another question:
“Do people go there to burn after they die?”
Now, she felt she had to answer. “Hell is for bad people, when they die, Tiarnan. Are you bad?”
He shook his head slowly, perhaps contemplating the fate of bad people as he did so.
“No.”, reassured Syahidah, “You are a good boy – and if you stay a good boy you won’t be going to Hell.”
He seemed a little relieved to hear this and managed to relax.
It was time, then for us to reflect. Clearly, someone at his school had been talking about Hell to him: was it a teacher, or a fellow kindergartner? If it was his teacher, I do feel that this is a little too much religious intrusion into the classroom, since each child will come from a family of different beliefs or lack of beliefs. If it was a fellow kindergartner, I do wonder at why a fellow five year old’s head has been filled with such fears as burning in the fires of hell for eternity. I really think that little children should not be given such stuff of nightmares to dwell on. Perhaps it is a means to control the behaviour of a particular child – well, there are wiser ways, like simply talking to them, and reasoning with them.
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