What’s your God like? #BookBytes 20

Welcome dear friends to another edition of BookBytes.

Recently, the son received an abridged version of Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster as a return gift at one of his friend’s birthdays. One glance at the book and he rejected it outright. Children can be surprisingly, annoyingly choosy about their reads. Besides, no self-respecting 13-year-old Rick Riordan fan would be interested in a book about a teenage orphan girl. I, on the other hand, was eager to read it. This one’s a classic I’d missed out on. I loved the illustrated version and found it quite perfect for my daughter, so it turned out to be a win-win situation.

Have you noticed how some books for children and young adults have immense wisdom within their pages? I’ve picked one such passage from Daddy Long Legs, though it’s from the original unabridged version. Take a read:

I find that it isn’t safe to discuss religion with the Semples. Their God (whom they have inherited intact from their remote puritan ancestors) is a narrow, irrational, unjust, mean revengeful, bigoted Person. Thank heaven I don’t inherit God from anybody! I am free to make mine up as I wish Him. He’s kind and sympathetic and imaginative and forgiving and understanding – and he has a sense of humour.

Jean Webster, Daddy Long Legs

I know you’ll agree with Jerusha Abbot – the young heroine of Daddy Long Legs. She’s an orphan and so has no parents to hand her down a preconceived idea of God. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each of us was free to make up our own God like Jerusha? I quite like the one she conjured up. A God who wouldn’t need sacrifices and fasting and complicated rituals to be happy, who wouldn’t punish us each time we forgot to light a diya or mispronounced a mantra. Oh and a God with a sense of humour sounds just perfect.

Perhaps we’d then turn from god-fearing people to god-loving ones.

What’s the one quality you’d like in your God?

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The next edition is scheduled for December 3rd. Do join in.

19 thoughts on “What’s your God like? #BookBytes 20

  1. Pingback: Why be smart? #BookBytes 11 – The Bespectacled Mother

  2. the bespectacled mother

    I love the lines. I didn’t know about this classic but now that I know about it and also because the protagonist thinks on the same lines as I do, I am pretty interested in the book.
    A few years ago, I gave up the idea of God I inherited and later which was handed over to me because I wasn’t happy with the understanding that as a woman I have to be gullible about it and must be open to change my idea and practices of appeasing God as my ownership changed upon marriage. Doesn’t sound good? I know. For me, God is a distant truth who is up there watching the world having set it on auto-pilot.
    My book bytes post – https://thebespectacledmother.com/2019/11/19/why-be-smart-bookbytes-11/

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    Reply
    1. Obsessivemom Post author

      I think we all inherit an idea of God and more often than not we carry it through with us all our lives. Mercifully we weren’t handed over an idea and I’m doing the same with the children. The book is a really sweet one, quite perfect for a young girl.

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    1. Obsessivemom Post author

      That’s what I’d like to believe too. However being completely honest here, there are days, specially the bad days, when I wonder if I’ve annoyed him and am being punished. That’s a terrible feeling and try as I might, I find it hard to get rid of it.

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  3. Tarang

    Interesting and thought provoking quote. I haven’t read this book but I’ve heard about it.
    I am not very religious and do not perform elaborate puja because I do believe that God doesn’t care how we remember him. We can pray silently and it’s just about feelings. And there are certain instances when he/she couldn’t do anything. Also, I don’t expect much, as I have realized that my prayers usually go unanswered. Er…my feelings/connection with God is very complicated. 🙂

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    1. Obsessivemom Post author

      Ha ha.. that sounds a lot like me. I don’t believe in too many rituals but I do seek him out in time of need. Also, I think you’ll love this book. Read the abridged version if you find the original too tiresome. It’s a sweet story.

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  4. Shalzmojo

    I dont know about this book but loved the premise of a child allowed to explore the ide aof religion without being fed any propaganda or doctored thoughts. If we could all be bought up like this, most of the world’s problems would end and wont that be wonderful.

    Religion hasnt bound us together at all and its been the root cause of so much angst and anguish – thanks for sharing this Tulika!

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    1. Obsessivemom Post author

      Sadly enough, that’s only too true. My son says all religions should just be banned! And that’s not something I taught him at all but I don’t think it would be too bad an idea.

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  5. Rajlakshmi

    How insightful and intelligent! I really wish that I had read more of classic books when I was young, before being drawn to a world of murder mysteries. It’s not bad, but hard to come by gems like these.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Obsessivemom Post author

      It’s weird because I’m discovering thrillers only now and enjoying them so so much. Classics are hard to read, the language is so complicated and long-winded, not to say the ideas of those times, it’s hard to find the patience to read them. However, the stories are often timeless if one can manage to plough through them.

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  6. writershilpa

    I loved the quote!
    Yes, I believe our God is sweet, non-interfering, forgiving, and minds His own business. It’s we who have painted this scary picture of His where we show Him to be punishing us if we forget certain rituals, and don’t take His name with respect.
    I don’t think our God is petty and will punish us for silly stuff, or even major stuff. It’s we who will face the repercussions of our wrong-doing, our stupid actions and decisions. God plays no role in any of it. Now, only if the “elders” and the God-fearing people realized this simple thing and got on with living a life that made Him proud, life would be so much better, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Soumya Prasad

    Daddy Long Legs sounds more like a adult book than a children’s book 😛

    I’m agnostic so I’m not the one to answer this question? Thought-provoking though.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Obsessivemom Post author

      Ha ha ha Soumya considering it was published in the early nineties, the title has a whole different meaning and it’s a really sweet book.

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  8. Priya

    Reminded me of my friend who lent this to me. I’d loved reading the book. Love the quote you’ve shared here.. and absolutely love the idea of each one forming their own idea of God!

    Liked by 1 person

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