The Talk With The 8 Year Old

Today, R, R2 and I took our usual walk to school. It is about 2.5 kilometers from where we live, which means that it takes us about half an hour to walk to school. We walk slowly marveling the changing seasons, the beauty of the place where we live, thanking God everyday for sending us to such a wonderful place, cribbing a bit about not getting a job, picking up the teddy bears which R2 keeps dropping from the pram, discussing school life, talking about everything under the sun, complaining about the cold and asking and answering English, Maths and Science questions…Its a wonderful way to spend time with my girls, and though R keeps cribbing that she has to walk so much and how she is the ONLY girl who walks to school, I am sure she secretly loves this time 🙂

And today, we spoke about Mr. Trump. The man who is going to be US’s next president. I will be lying if I say I was not upset that Hillary Clinton did not win. I was so sure she would. R overheard me and RD talk and discuss and argue about the US elections. She took it all in quietly and asked me if I wanted Hillary to win because she was a woman and I am all for equality and all that. I said, yes, and then I stopped. R did not know about Mr. Trump and I thought she was too young to know about him anyway. On the 9th of November, she told me that I should accept Mr. Trump with an open mind, and who knows, he may turn out to be an extremely good president. I nodded my head and did not discuss it further.

Until today morning. She asked me, ‘Amma, is Mr. Trump a racist?’ I looked at her shocked. She continued ‘Why does he want to build a wall between US and Mexico? and why does he want to stop the Mexicans from entering US? What will the wall do? I mean, I can understand the Chinese building the Great Wall of China, thousands of years ago. But today, don’t we all want to live in a world of togetherness? Don’t we all want to move ahead in life together? What if tomorrow, Australia says that brown skinned or black skinned people are not allowed here? Does that mean we have to go back? Does that mean, people of the world will always be separated on the basis of their skin color? Didn’t you and Appa tell me that the color of the skin does not matter and what is important is how good we are? How good our heart is? How nice we are to other people? Haven’t Mr. Trump’s Amma Appa told him that?”

I must admit, I was totally unprepared for this. I tried to explain to her about how everyone is different and how everyone has their ideologies to follow. I told her about Michelle Obama, who said that ‘When they go low, we go high’. I told her that let Mr. Trump behave the way he wants to, but at the end of the day, if we don’t behave properly, there would be no difference between Mr. Trump and us. And we want to go high all the time, isn’t it?

Apparently she had heard about the wall and racial discrimination at school. Kids in her class have been discussing the elections and were telling her how they believe that color of the skin is irrelevant in life!

She seemed to be a bit satisfied with what we spoke about. I never thought that an election in the US, which seems millions of miles away would affect a little girl from India, who has just started living in Australia! Guess, the world is a small place and we all get affected by the US, someway or the other!



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8 Responses to The Talk With The 8 Year Old

  1. Shailaja V says:

    I tell you, kids are so much better informed these days. For the most part, I think that’s a very good thing. It keeps them aware and alert to current affairs among other things. And I think you’ve handled it rather well too.

  2. UmaS says:

    Children speak the truth and also learn what we don’t want them to know so brutally…
    Anyway…glad she was satisfied with ur answer!

  3. anisnest says:

    Wowwww she has grown up so much??? Big girl talk huh? I am awestruck by her questions..

  4. From the mouth of babes!
    We teach them to be good people and then Trump comes along making it look okay to stand for everything that is wrong. It is they who are going to be the most affected by people like Trump if he ends up staying for the long haul.

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