I’m having a dilema. You guys know I love wearing my bindi. I find it important not just for its purported spiritual benefits but also as a reminder to myself of my values and who I strive to be and as a way of reminding others of the diversity of our society. However, things have gotten more complicated for me.
I’m a member of a wonderful mom’s group. I have awesome new friends and it’s a very diverse group too. Some of the kids are as young as Garrick Ravi and others are a little older. I think the oldest ones are five and six. Those kids are starting to wonder about my bindi and I find that I’m at a loss on how to explain it.
Twice a kid has asked me why I have blood on my face.
I tell them that it’s not blood but then I don’t want to get into a religious discussion with them. I want to be respectful of what their parents are teaching them about religion. For one little boy I tried to say it was like ash Wednesday but I couldn’t tell if he knew what that was plus his mom did not seem too pleased about our conversation.
I stopped wearing it because I just don’t know how to explain it to the kids in my life in an appropriate way.
One friend reminded me that I’m still a Hindu whether I wear a bindi or not. And she’s so right. But it has been an important part of my spiritual practice for a while now and I wonder if there is a way to do both.
What would you say?
How would you explain to a five-year-old in a setting where we don’t discuss religious belief?
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