The familiar saying is true — nothing can really prepare you for becoming a parent.
While there are still a few more months left before my wife and I can expect the arrival of our first child, many aspects of my future as a father have already started to run through my head.
Of course while the thought of changing diapers and the sleepless nights is something I have already begun to dread, I am also preparing myself for the myriad of questions my child will have about life and the world that surrounds them.
Daddy, why is the sky blue?
Daddy, how does a bird fly?
Daddy, what makes a rainbow?
These are the easy questions. Having been on this world long enough to learn for myself the answer to the whys, whens and hows of these basic ponderings, I can say with certainty that — for the most part — I am prepared to be an informative parent.
But how will I answer the tough questions, the ones regarding the current state of affairs in our world and the effects they have caused on humanity?
Daddy, what is terrorism?
Daddy, what is a jihad?
Daddy, why did they chop-off that man’s head?
It’s these questions I fear being asked the most.
The answer is simple. I just do not know.
Sure I could provide some textbook definition, a detailed description put out by scholars and representatives of the major faiths of the world. But would it truly answer the questions?
As an outsider to religion — a nonbeliever — my inability to understand why these things are happening perplexes me on almost a daily basis.
As a human being — one who values all life — I can’t fathom how there has been, and will be, so much death surrounding religion.
How will I provide my child with the answers they seek for something I really know nothing about — and have yet to be given a reasonable answer?
What will they be told to believe? Will the same ideals and ethics I grew up on still be relevant and considered essential to a proper upbringing?
How will I be able to tell them — “everything will be okay?”