We are moving from Hinduism to Buddhism.
I asked students this morning to think about and write down some big questions religions try to answer. I hadn't taught them this, per se. And as I believe it's important to teach students how to think instead of simply what to think, I let them struggle through it for a while (So often teachers give students information, then students give that same information right back on the test. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But if we only teach them how to regurgitate information, we're going them a disservice.)
Some students came up with some good "big questions":
- What happens to us when we die?
- Is there a God?
- How does God want me to live my life?
- What do I have to do to get to heaven?
- Is karma real?
- Why do people get cancer? (Or why do good things happen to bad people?)
We've looked at what Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism believe. We're moving on to Buddhism. The biggest two questions Buddhism tries to answer are these: Why do people suffer? How can someone stop the suffering in their life?
One of The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism is that we suffer because of desire. We watched to videos in class today. If you want to get the extra credit for reading and discussing this blog with an adult, tell that adult what the videos were about. Tell who was suffering and why. Finally, tell the adult whether you agree or disagree - and why. Do we suffer because of desire? If not, what do you think causes suffering? Then, write a few of your answers from the conversation down on a piece of scrap paper. Have the adult you read it with sign the paper.
Turn it in tomorrow.