Mommy, Why Do We Exist?

Posted by Daniela Gunther on Dec 27, 2018
1166 reads  
"Mommy, why do we exist?"

Last week, I was driving with my 7-year-old daughter, and this question came out of her mouth.

Dumbfounded by such a loaded inquiry from a young child, I felt it was important enough to stop the car, pull over, and be present with her.

I didn't want to feed her any of my pre-existing beliefs. I wanted to hear her thoughts and give her the space to let me know where that question came from.

With the car parked, I got out of the driver's seat and sat in the backseat next to my daughter.

"Well, what do you think? Why do you think we exist?" I asked.

"I think we are here to help each other," she replied.

"That's a great observation. Why do you think that?"

"Well, there's a new boy in my class. Usually I'm shy with new people, so I don't talk to them. But with this new boy, I felt connected and I wanted to reach out to him to make him feel welcome. Maybe that's why I was there."



Wow! I had no idea she could have such deep thoughts. Normally, 7-year-olds complain, and want to play, and are upset when not everything's perfect. But sometimes, these gems come out. We ended up having an incredible conversation about life, meaning, the universe and our interconnections.

As an educator, it was an amazing reminder of the power of holding space -- of how when we really take the time to sit and be present with children or anyone, they give you the chance to be taught.

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Comments (4)

  • Susan wrote ...

    Thanks for the reminder that we don't need to provide answers but to truly listen to what's behind the question! Also- pay attention to the child's answer!- At a recent church service (Unitarian Universalist) our Youth Minister was about to tell a short story about HOPE, but first asked the children how they define that word. So many spoke, and with such profound eloquence and insight, that she remarked "This makes me want to write a poem about all you've said!" and I hope she does- because much as I wanted to, I don't recall a single definition these wonderful Beings gave us. "Out of the mouth of Babes..."- Yes, I must learn to be a better listener.

  • Sunil Kumar wrote ...

    Kindness is a gift from God and children are divine.  

  • Brinda Govindan wrote ...

    Beautiful wisdom! Thanks for sharing :-)

  • Meghna Banker wrote ...

    Indeed, such a beautiful moment of introspection and being present completely, totally to the inquiry both ways. Thank you for sharing such a gem :)