comparative religious philosophies for 4-year olds

so i mentioned the buddha tonight to our 4-year old son, jacob, and his first question was, of course, “who’s buddha?”

hmmmm…. How to explain this one?

“well, a long time ago, there were some really smart people who though of some good ideas on how to live. there was one guy named jesus who thought that it’s pretty smart to be nice to people – even if they’re not nice to you. another guy was buddha. he said that you should always be paying attention. so, if you’re drinking your juice, you should think about the juice. If you’re playing your violin, you should think about the violin. don’t think about violin when you’re drinking your juice and don’t think about juice when you’re playing your violin.

“another thing that buddha said was that you shouldn’t just pay attention to what you’re doing – you should also think about what you’re feeling. so, if you’re sad, you should ask yourself ‘why am i sad?’ if you like your juice, you should ask yourself ‘why do i like this juice?’ ”

jacob said, “maybe you like it because it’s tasty.”

personally, i think that’s a good reason to like juice.

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