Death and Nothingthing – That is how 1st graders define Eternity

Death and Nothingthing – That is how 1st graders define Eternity

Death, End, beginning and eternity have intrigued mankind always.  However, we are sometimes so busy in looking at things with practiced creativity and twists, that we forget the basics and the simple.  And, the ability to look at life the “way it is” keeps diminishing as we move on in years.  We add knowledge and then use that acquired information to distort reality by layering it with conditioned responses.  Our memory conspires against us spectacularly while we rejoice in it thinking rearranging thoughts is a sign of intelligence.  Little realizing that intelligence is in clarity in perception of the world, not in twisting it.  That is the job of saboteurs.

Profound silence on Death

In a very interesting experiment, a 1st grade teacher wrote a riddle on the board:

Puzzle of the Week: I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere.  I’m the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space.

What am I?

Death riddle

There could be many answers to this.  But the teacher was looking for one which he thought a 1st grader would probably get to.  The Letter “e”.  But he got a shock when he got an answer from one 1st grader followed by other ones.

One of the kids stood up and uttered – “Death”!  There was complete silence in the class.

Later, other kids started off in the same vein and answered – All Stuff, The End, and one of the most creative word for the seat of existence –  Nothingthing!

The teacher – Bret Turner – did not have the heart to tell the kids what the real answer was.


What I find interesting is that none of the students said “God”.  That, I guess is kept for the hallucinating elders who want to make up stories about an imaginary man with white beard sitting “up there”, while living on a round planet which is spinning!  (The “up” changes every second and is different for different people).

These kids were not bothered about making up imaginary stories.  They looked at what suggested a sense of “finality” and “eternity” and came back with responses, which in many ways was bang on from spiritual as well as scientific standpoint.  To kids Death was the definition of finality and Nothingthing the articulation of that which is at start and the end!

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