13 April 2008

When is the end of the world as we know it?

"There has to be some day when nobody's alive," insisted the youngest one in the house this morning, having just asked me what she'll be doing in "a hundred thousand days." I told her she'd probably be dead and gone, 274 years from now. She said, "We wouldn't be here if nobody else was here. Everybody would be gone. The world would be over."

"So," I asked, "you think there's an ending for the world? A time when everything is gone?"

"Yes," she said, emphatically. "There has to be."

So interesting to find out what she believes, and what I believe in contrast or that overlaps. I believe in a world without end. Does she just imagine nothingness because she doesn't have enough experience to imagine what will come? Is that a byproduct of having a frontal-lobe-in-development?

I believe if we are not here as we know ourselves to be now (I find myself wanting to put quotation marks around every pronoun in that phrase), there will be something else going on that perhaps we just won't be around to witness. I'm one of those people who believes the tree makes the sound, whether you're there to hear it or....

One of the panelists at the conference told a story his son thought there was a line of souls waiting to be stuck into bodies and his was next. His son had seen a snapshot of his dad with a girlfriend who came before his mother and his father had said something about it being fortunate he married his son's mother, or he wouldn't have come into the world. "Oh, no, Dad," his son told him, "I would have been here, just with another family." The panelist concluded that his son "Doesn't believe that now, of course." But why the "of course," I wonder?

1 comment:

arly said...

you're so smart to notice his saying "of course." I might have noticed it, but immediately dismissed it. (I'm like homer simpson sometimes, the little cymbal-playing monkey in my brain.)

d is obsessed with "the circle of life" because that's how they're teaching about insects. he wants to know why little boys don't have a circle of life and won't buy any explanation I offer him.