I’m not just a geocacher, I’m not just a Mum, I’m not just a daughter, I’m not just a partner, I’m not just a teaching assistant and I’m not just a person retraining for a new career in proofreading and copy editing.
I am also a Cub Scout Leader! And this morning I have spent a few hours doing vital research on a topic I know virtually nothing about so that I can share it with my Cub pack on Wednesday night.
We are hosting a “Bring a friend night” for our Cubs and we decided to have an International themed evening, with traditional food, games and a few crafts too. We chose India for our theme as it is close to the Indian festival of lights, Diwali.
Well, where do I start? Having worked in schools since 2005, I already know that most children study Diwali as part of RE during year 2 (age 6-7), so most of my Cub pack already know quite a bit about it. So, I need to start with something different… Food idea’s will come at the beginning of next week when I go shopping, so I start with finding out about what games Indian children play.
A quick google search and in minutes I have found out about a few team games such as Kho Kho and Seven Stones. Seven stones is a cross between dodgeball and cricket, I think the Cubs will really enjoy that. I also found out that the game of marbles is a very old tradition among Indian children, called Golli Gundu, but is fast becoming a “banned” game, as families feel that being a “street game” it is not acceptable.
Then came the craft and traditions part of the evening. A little more research lead me to a lovely website called India Parenting, similar to our very own Netmums website. It has everything that I need there, from idea’s on how to make our own safe, herbal, natural dyes which are used during the spring festival Holi and a great description of Diwali and rangoli patterns. Armed with almost everything I need for a great section meeting after a quick google image search for basic rangoli patterns, I thought I would take a quick peek at the prayers of different religions. This would give the evening everything I need to ensure a balanced programme.
It was there that I found a page that I wanted to share with you all, simply entitled “A Chat with God”, I believe that the following passage (copied from the site) is relevant to everyone, no matter what your beliefs and religions are, and I encourage you all to read it and take on board what the author has to say.
I’m sure you get tired of people constantly asking you to fulfill all their wishes as if you were a genie who just had to say ‘poof, wish granted’. I know I wouldn’t like it if my friends only remembered me when they wanted something. In fact, they wouldn’t really be my friends then, would they?
I’m sure you want someone to just sit and talk to you. Not chant a mantra or sing a song, but really pour out their heart and soul to you. So I am going to chat with you till you get bored and beg me to stop. But you’re not going to do that, are you? You love me! Aww Anyway, here goes.
Thank you for making me an intelligent, loving person. When I read about all the horrors in the world, when I read about people killing each other for political, economic or other causes, or for no cause at all, I thank you for not turning me into someone like that. I wonder how does someone justify cruelty inflicted on another human being? I also often wonder: how does someone justify hatred in the name of religion? Why do we stand so apart if we pray to different versions of you? Sometimes I think that perhaps there is competition amongst all the Gods up there in Heaven. Perhaps each God wants to have the maximum number of followers, which could explain why Hindus and Muslims are constantly at loggerheads. Do you think Ram and Rahim put them up to it? The very thought makes me want to scream ‘Sacrilege!’ But honestly, tell me God, are Vishnu and Allah fighting up there as well? Or are they just sitting there, shaking their heads sadly every time their son, a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian hardens his heart, hardens his soul, and takes a dagger to another son? Somehow, I believe the latter. When a person takes a life in the name of religion, I believe Ram, Rahim, Jesus or Moses is sitting up there and looking down with tears in his eyes, saying, No, NO! I didn’t ask you to do that! Leave my child alone. Don’t you really think I sent you down so you could start killing my children? If I wanted to take a life, I would take it. I do NOT need your help, thank you very much.
So much violence in your world! But God, I am not going to ask for peace. I promised I wouldn’t ask you for anything, and I am going to keep my promise. Not only does asking for world peace sound too Miss World clich’d, but in any case, I don’t think you really can do anything about it, can you? A parent cannot do anything about a child that betrays his brother, but sit down and weep tears of blood.
However, there are so many more things I have to thank you for, and I haven’t even scratched the surface. Thank you for giving me parents that love me, the most wonderful grandparents anyone could ask for, for giving me a brother and sister that love me, and for giving me a bai that raised me with as much love as a parent could.
Although I am not the supermodel I would like to be, I have nice eyes and a nice smile, and I thank you for that. Although I am 5 foot nothing, all it takes is a pair of heels and I feel on top of the world. Although I cannot sing very well outside of the shower, thank you for giving me a voice, and for not making me hearing impaired, so I can sing whenever I want to, and so that I can enjoy great music. In fact, thank you for making something as wonderful as music, so it can lift me upwhenever I am feeling blue.
Thank you for making me special. After all, no matter how insignificant I sometimes feel, I know there must be something special about me. You created me, and there is a little of you in me. Surely just that alone makes me so special.
I really wish you could do something about the peace though. But I promised, I’m not going to ask.
A heartfelt conversation with someone we all take for granted, God.