I wasn’t there at the time. I was in my office. And I got this email midday from my wife of the record of a conversation between Dafna and her. Daf (rhymes with laugh) was taking a bath. “Me” means wife.
Daf: Everyone dies….so…..Me: So what?Daf: So what’s the point?Me: The point of what?Daf: The point of everyone.Me: Very big question for such a small Daf.Daf: Yeah, I know.
I have of course comes to terms with my own answer to this question. But comment below as to your suggestions for how to handle this with a three year old if/when it comes up again.
4 thoughts on “What to do when a 3 year old asks the ultimate question?”
The point to life as we know it – mortal – I think it’s to learn how to love it (life) so that when we leave it we can be sad yet smiling, but not with a heavy heart (guilt of hurting others). That’s why it hurts so much when someone is gone brutally or lives an enslaved conditioned life that they can’t enjoy, by society or illness, because nobody knows if they lived enough (length, quality) to fall in love with life and we all fear they might have left it with a heavy heart but not necessarily of guilt of not understanding how beautiful life is. Brutal death is chaos. Just death it’s randomization. Chaos is unfair.
It’s true I don’t deny of people able to live in a flash with full realization, some whom may have discovered the meaning of life already, and maybe this is too intense and they must also learn how to come back and love life. Loving life is not as easy as hedonism imho, yes it takes doing something, and it takes a long enough time for each and everyone.
If you really sit and think about it imagining the point of eternity is actually even harder and scarier than life. And that’s why we have life, even if it doesn’t last forever. Because in life you can be happy for sure; in eternity it’s not so sure. The same way as dusk is pointless because we can’t enjoy sun anymore and have the energy to work, yet we need the darkness even if it makes us sad when it comes. Because the energy is wearing off even we’re not aware of it by time night falls (more or less). As children we used to hate afternoon naps and not being allowed to play all day.
As we learn how sleep is good for us as we grow up, we can also learn about loving life. Loving life is not an innate feeling like the instinct of survival. It’s something we learn.
King Solomon said more or less the same thing as your daughter in Koheles.
That’s what I think the answer should be, to anyone asking, so you can see what do they mean by death.
However someone else told me another, of course a very wise, answer to this question “it’s all randomization.” I don’t understand this, but I thought I should post this answer as well, just in case it makes sense or helps someone…
I’d say that the point is to experience things, to find out what you are good at and do it, because the only meaning to life is the meaning we give to it.
P/s: I’m an atheist Jew, and have a 1 yr old daughter.