Posted by KidSpirit Online on November 16, 2017

By Skyler Sallick in the KidSpirit Simplicity and Complexity issue.

From a young age, I have worked to piece together my unique spiritual beliefs from aspects of my surrounding environment, particularly from my various educational experiences.

I entered my first Montessori classroom at fourteen months old, each chubby roll of my curious body enticed and fascinated with the classroom. Montessori, a non-traditional form of education, centers around enhancing the fundamentals of child development through lessons that focus primarily on the intersection of kindness and compassion with community engagement. When I had not yet graduated from the quintessential Montessori lesson of the “pink tower” (a set of cubes that need to be stacked in size order) and learning the alphabet through tracing sandpaper letters, I thought of respect of others as a simple facet of daily life, something that was part of every decision I made and every interaction I had. Gradually, the curtains closed on my belief that kindness and compassion are uncomplicated; social behavior is more complex than innate qualities and emotions. No longer believing them to be the simple foundations for life as a living being, I walked down the seemingly endless, window-lined hallway of my Montessori school and grew conscious of the intricacies of kindness and compassion in our ever expanding and interconnected world.

My early years immersed in the Montessori . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on November 1, 2017

By Grace Snarr in the KidSpirit Power issue.

Power is not given; it is within us and cannot be taken away. This is a great responsibility and privilege, one that we humans sometimes abuse.

Dani* and I were best friends. We would hang out almost every weekend, and don’t even mention summer! We talked, laughed, and ate together like sisters. We trusted each other enough to read the love letters we sent to our crushes (or imagined and hoped to send). When tragedy struck, we rushed to comfort each other.

After about six months of camaraderie . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on October 19, 2017

By Sanya Kochhar in the KidSpirit Numbers & Symbols issue.

India is a composite culture, an amalgam of heirlooms left by the various civilizations, empires, and religions born here.

Aside from the rich cultural heritage, there are priceless pearls of wisdom that continue to be passed down through the generations, even today. These heirlooms have grown to be an important part of our lives.

The diversity of my country’s populous . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on October 2, 2017

By Eliza Moore in the KidSpirit Human Dignity issue.

We walk with it.
Backs straight and eyes fixed to the air,
As if receiving some great knowledge that can only be found
In the shallows of the swelling sky.

There is music in us.
An old, viscous longing to go back to the beginning,
When we were young
and indistinguishable from the promises of earth.

Now, new walls shudder into being,
Rising and choking.
They blind us with masks forged from uncertainty,
The root of desires long suppressed.

Some of us move with arms outstretched,
Feeling for the presence of other shadows in the dark.
When we find each other,
We pull back the curtain of differences
like strings of candy-colored beads,
And see clearly.

We find we are the same.
Made of a luminescence, throbbing and pulsing,
Calling out for the vulnerable,
The recognition of history,
The serpent of memory writhing in our veins.

We walk with it.
All the walls crumble to the ground
And we are not afraid.

When she wrote this poem, Eliza Moore was a 13-year-old eighth grader at The Center for Creative Arts in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At the time, she loved reading, writing, and visiting the ocean.

Posted by KidSpirit Online on September 21, 2017

By Akash Mehta in KidSpirit's The God Issue.
(click on panels in body of text to see larger versions)

What does it mean to live a good human life?

There, in a sentence, is perhaps the most important question a human can ask. Without an adequate answer to it, life is meaningless; we have been struggling to come up with one since our very inception. It is the question that has given rise to the entire field of philosophical ethics, the question each one of us must ask ourselves and try to answer in order to live a human life at all.

The most common and natural way to answer this question . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on September 1, 2017

By Marwa Alalawi in the KidSpirit Power issue.

Flickering streetlights streamed into my aunt’s bedroom as she hushed my cries with gentle strokes, tucking me into a sea of white linen.

It was my first time sleeping at her house. My aunt, who had no children at that time, wished to spoil me by having me spend the night.

don’t remember what nightly hour had crept upon us . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on August 23, 2017

By Vidushi Sharma in the KidSpirit Money and Value issue.
Artwork by Amy Liu

(This was originally posted on KidSpirit in June 2012) This June if you’d walked into the last KidSpirit Editorial Board meeting of the year, you would have seen a group of kids widely ranging in age.

Some of us had cookies and milk in our hands; others were cross-legged on the floor holding scrap paper, fiddling with pens and pencils. We encompassed many of the world’s foremost religious backgrounds and came from different parts of New York and surrounding states, but that day, everyone in the room had one thing on his or her mind: money. Why do we need it? Should we want it? How has it developed, and why has it been similarly used among different cultures?

At first thought, money seemed like a simple concept. . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on August 11, 2017

By Eleanor Goetz in the KidSpirit Power issue.

Three hundred forty-five years ago Roger Williams declared, “forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.”

Williams was a 17th-century English Protestant theologian and a proponent of religious freedom. He pioneered the separation of church and state, a crucial social innovation in 1640 that now poses a unique challenge to modern parochial schools. Schooling is mandatory for every child in the nation, but prayer is not. Yet parochial schools must somehow coerce students into praying. This would be an achievable goal if every student agreed that prayer is critical and there was a school-wide consensus on how to pray, but that often isn’t the case. Schools are faced with the impossible task of imparting the value of praying, specifically the importance of daily prayer. In this situation schools often fall into a survival mode, using their administrative power to force students and teachers to show up in a room and recite words without facing the question of meaning head on. This allows students to passively disengage and choose powerlessness regarding the shortcomings of their prayer services without getting involved or feeling personally responsible to make a change.

I attend a pluralistic Jewish day school . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on July 20, 2017

By Eleanor Goetz in the KidSpirit The God Issue issue.

The idea of God is different for everyone and is possibly many things even to one person. We all have different ideas of what and who God is.

Some people do not believe in God at all, while others believe in many gods. Others believe that God infinitely shapes their lives and their afterlives. Others look to themselves to be shaped. There are a variety of different religions, and as many as 22 major religions in the world today.

Christians, as well as other monotheistic religions, such as Judaism and Islam, view God as an all-knowing ruler. The followers of these religions study religious texts, such as the Bible, to guide their lives. They also believe that God is the creator of everything. Polytheistic religions have many gods, such as a god of water, that rule over part of the world. Buddhists do not believe in a god but search for a way to end suffering by ending all self-desires. Through the teachings of these religions many ideas of God materialize. How we view God privately is personal and varied. Our personal concept of God is ever-changing because we change and the world we live in changes.

The belief in a higher power became possible . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on July 6, 2017

By Swastika Jajoo in the KidSpirit Discovery and Progress issue.

Interfaith Connections is a column for teens to dialogue about how their faith or wisdom tradition influences their view of life’s big questions. In each issue, three teens from different backgrounds respond to a question posed by the Editorial Board, based on the theme. This quarter the Ed Board asks:

How does your faith or wisdom tradition view the idea of human progress?

John F. Kennedy famously said, “The best road to progress is freedom’s road.”

The idea of human progress has long been a topic for discussion and introspection. From scientists to philosophers, technicians to housewives, human progress has been an area studied and contemplated. Human progress can be classified into two categories: individual and social. The social notion of progress is a culmination of individual viewpoints, which vary across countries, cultures, and traditions. Both individual and social progress are beautifully intertwined.

I am Indian and belong to a Hindu family. . . .


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