Yadid’s Journal: A 10 Year-old on Self-Conscious

A few weeks ago my son Yadid handed me a sheet torn out of his journal from school. It read:

Dear journal,

Today I was on the bus ride home when I thought to myself something, in my opinion interesting question. What makes us believe what we believe? Why do we believe in God and not gods or kings? Then my self-conscious answered “because that’s what we choose to believe and we can’t be judged for that. We might disagree but we can’t fight about it. Because that would cause another world war, you wouldn’t be able to trust even your family and there will be no prosperity”. So my self-conscious said this, ” Never stop believing because if you do you may never believe again”.

Then my brain and not my self-conscious said back “so your saying that if I tackled you and said change to my religion a world war would start.”

My self-conscious responded “no I am saying that you shouldn’t be a terrible person because the world doesn’t follow what you believe because theirs no point”.

I share this here in recognition that it was a cconversation with Yadid and his self-conscious that prompted me to start writing this blog over five years ago. When my son Yadid was four years old he came home from daycare and reported to me that he got into trouble. He got put into timeout for throwing sand at another child. Yadid said,” Myself said to myself, I do not want to be in timeout. Myself said to my cry, I do not want to cry”. And with that we started a conversation about his conscious life. It seemed only fitting to continue that conversation with a blog with the same name.

My son spoke in the words of Ecclesiastes, “I said in my heart: ‘Come now, I will try you with mirth, and enjoy pleasure’; and, behold, this also was vanity.” (Kohelet 2:1) My mission is to model a life that is personally meaningful, universally relevant, and distinctly Jewish. I aspire to be frank and to speak of Torah in real life. It is wonderful to pause for a moment to realize how this discussion has evolved over time. Yadid is almost 11. In the last five years I have grown in many ways in forcing myself to find a voice for my parenting, my Torah, and my self-conscious. In many ways I think it would be helpful for more people to force themselves to be more intentional and explicit. Thank you Yadid.

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