Posted by KidSpirit Online on June 20, 2018

By Heer Cheema for KidSpirit's Unity and Division issue

They are restless, moving backward and forward, surrounded by a miasma of uncertainty and despair. Sleeping in airports, caught in transition, they have no homes, because bans and war-ravaged countries are their reality. They are a reflection of my past.

Pakistani history and literature is rife with this familiar tale of displacement. Saadat Hasan Manto, an Indo-Pakistani writer, in his 1955 short story titled “Toba Tek Singh,” reflects on the anguish and loss associated with the divisions on paper that wrought destruction on millions of lives during the Partition of the Subcontinent in 1947. His protagonist, Bishan Singh, lies lost in “no–man’s–land,” unable to return home as a result of these arbitrary borders. “No–Man’s–Land” is not only a region in conflict but, as Manto highlights, a state of distress and disconnect.

Bishan Singh’s dilemma is universal, shared not only by today’s refugees and diasporas, but also by my ancestors ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on June 5, 2018

By Nimai Agarwalfor in The God issue.

I was born into a spiritual family. My parents practiced Vaishnavism, a monotheistic sect of Hinduism based on worship of Krishna, the Supreme. As a result, I’ve grown up immersed in this rich and ancient tradition.

I have woken up every morning to the sound of ringing bells and fragrant billows of incense. I’ve learned how to sing Sanskrit prayers to Krishna, a Sanskrit name for “God,” and I love it. They’re fun to sing, have beautiful meanings, and allow me to express myself.

Over these years, I’ve learned a lot about the philosophy of Vaishnavism ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on May 16, 2018

By Jung Woo Bae in the Simplicity and Complexity issue.

I blow the pitch pipe on the key of A-flat, and, almost instinctively, the four of us huddle closer together, forming an intimate circle.

As the A-flat gradually dissipates after a few seconds of held uniformity, the bass starts humming his first note, the baritone follows with his, and the tenor concludes the neatly stacked chord.

After a swift intake of breath, we begin singing the 1905 classic "Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines Nellie," known for its arrangement in the barbershop style . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on May 2, 2018

By Andrew Lu for KidSpirit's Mysteries of the Universe issue.

We all wonder about our origins, births, and deaths. We’ve all asked our parents questions about where we came from.

As a third culture kid (TCK) and international school student from Canada and China, I grew up among different versions of stories about my own origin. Not only is my own background religiously diverse, but I am surrounded by people from all over the world who follow many different traditions. The girl who sits next to me in French class is Catholic and she comes from India. The make-up artist for my theater production club comes from a Mormon background and she is fabulous at applying eyeliner. The lady who serves my lunch everyday wears a bracelet made out of prayer beads, and the Chinese-American girl who lives next door goes to church every Sunday. These people are wildly different. Their religious backgrounds may or may not have taught them to see the mysteries of our universe in a certain way, but they all have their own interpretations.

It is hard for some of us to believe that our births and lives are simply scientific ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on April 18, 2018

By Fatema Karimi for KidSpirit's Unity and Division issue.

I feel very lucky to be part of the Muslim community where I can study how humanity affects the earth, as well as understand my duty towards it.

Islam is a religion that teaches duty and responsibility. We are made dependent on one another so that we may help each other. My relationship with the earth isn’t limited to just my lifetime, but to those born after me. While it is true that I must use the earth’s resources, I must always keep in mind the effect that use has on the present and future. In this way, taking care of the earth is important in Islam.

We are taught to use resources carefully ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on April 4, 2018

By Christopher Woods in the KidSpirit Unity and Division issue.

A discussion of unity and diversity of anything should start at the very beginning — for me and many others, when Jesus Christ began preaching to the people in Judea and revealing that He was the one they had been waiting for, the Messiah, sent to redeem all mankind.

It’s a well-known story. After Jesus’s death and resurrection, His apostles traveled all over Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Paul visited many Greek cities, and eventually ended up in Rome, as did Peter; James found his way to Spain; Thomas journeyed all the way to India; and Mark preached to the Ethiopians. Everywhere they went, they baptized people into the Church, and ordained priests and bishops to continue their work.

But communication was slow in those times. ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on March 21, 2018

By Jocelyn Ruffner in the KidSpirit Creation and Destruction issue.

The thing that most people
choose to ignore is the fact
that we are both

A flower in the never ending
fields and hills of time
Pulled up by the roots
In just one tug

But

We are also history.
We can change our lives
We can change others’
We have the power to shape the destiny
Of the world as we know it.

We are created for a purpose
For what purpose?
For no purpose?

The truth is I don’t know ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on March 8, 2018

By Misbah Awan in The Soul of Gender

“Towel-Head. Tablecloth. Batman. Ninja. Oppressed. Raghead. Terrorist. Do you have Cancer? Do you have hair? Do you shower with it on? Oh, you can think? Don’t you feel hot in the summer? Do you wear it to sleep? Did your dad force you to wear it? Well, okay, fine… did your mom?” mimicked the Muslim girls, who sat in chairs in a loose version of a circle, their faces red, drained with anger and shock.

People tend to judge those wearing a cloth covering their head, without a second thought of whether those comments or questions are considerate.

It’s a natural instinct to be curious, but comments on the hijab are often born of ignorance. After September 11th, 2001, there was a pronounced stereotyping of the headscarf. American citizens, specifically, put their guards go up and became more closed off to strangers. This only pushed Muslims to further seek ways to lend a hand to those who suffered due to the attacks on the Twin Towers. Not only did they want to show that they were unlike the group of people who crashed into the World Trade Center, they genuinely cared and ached to help. But this didn’t stop people from quickly judging.

Many have portrayed the hijab as an ostracizing and anti-feminist sign ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on February 22, 2018

How does a person know when something inside of them is changing?

Things do change. Storms turn into sun, snow melts into spring. People change. Perhaps a new talent or hobby is rising out of the abyss that is the human brain. Have you ever shaken a dust-filled rug or piece of cloth? The dust whirls in the light, dancing around. How can something so dirty seem so graceful in that moment? That’s how I picture change, floating out of the darkness.

Or does change come as a sudden zap of shock like the moment at a surprise party where everyone yells that word that changes everything — “surprise!” My whole life could be a string of surprise parties, waiting for the right moment to happen, just waiting for me to open the door on them.

Some people have that sixth sense, knowing when change is around the corner. Others stumble blindly into it, like going through a pitch black tunnel, when one turn careens you into the light. Others still can see slightly, but it’s blurred like a gossamer curtain drawn across their eyes. Maybe, just maybe, it is different for every moment, every change. How will we find the answer? What philosophical journey must we take to solve this great mystery?

Having the ability to change is one of the greatest gifts ...

Posted by KidSpirit Online on February 20, 2018

By Akash V. Mehta in the Conflict and Peacemakers issue.

We live in a violent world filled with conflict, and we always have. But every member of every generation has a responsibility to our world — to, in our own way, try to lessen the unhappiness that reigns on this planet. Our generation, like the ones before it, is going to grow up and lead the world. It is essential that the leaders of tomorrow, who will have to try to fix so many of our world’s problems, are empathetic and understanding not only of their people’s suffering, but of the suffering of those on the other side as well.

Seeds of Peace and Face to Face/Faith to Faith (F2F) are two organizations that understand this and are dedicated to making sure it happens.

They are two similar organizations ...

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About This Blog

Young people are brimming with vision and prophetic wisdom. This blog features 11- to 17-year-olds in deep and often surprising explorations of spiritual life. Their original writing and artwork was first published in KidSpirit, the sole spiritual magazine by and for global youth. Their words call us to approach eternal questions with wonder. More