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In the Village: The moral dialogue continues

Published: Thursday, Sept. 15 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Editor's note: Second of three articles. Click here for part one.

Father: What did you do, Erinel?

Erinel: He hit me on the head! With a big block!

F: I know. Why do you think he did that?

E: Because he's mean!

F: Is he really? Then why did you want him to play with you? Do you like playing with mean people?

E: No.

F: Charlie's not mean. So why did he hit you?

E: I kicked down his city.

F: Yeah, you sure did. You knocked down every single block. Look at this — there's not two blocks where Charlie put them. Nothing that he built is left.

E: No.

F: You did a very thorough job. How long did it take you? Show me. Act it out, let me see what you did.

E: I don't want to.

F: You don't want to show me how you kicked it all down? You don't want me to see?

E: No.

F: Well, let me imagine it then. You ran here, and here, and here, and that did the job, didn't it? It took about three kicks and it was all wrecked.

E: Maybe.

F: How long did it take him to build it?

E: I don't know.

F: Do you think he built it in three kicks? Did he just run in and swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, there was the city?

E: (laughing) No. It took longer.

F: It took a long time. He worked hard on it. He had a plan. Some of those buildings were really tall. It's hard to make tall buildings, isn't it?

E: They fall over.

F: Your brother Charlie loves to make things, Erinel. He's a maker. That's one of the ways that he's like Heavenly Father. Because he sees a bunch of blocks and he imagines what they might be if he puts them together a certain way, and then he does it, and he's good at it, isn't he, Erinel?

E: I'm not as good at it.

F: Not yet. You haven't had much practice.

E: I don't like doing it.

F: And you don't have to. Nobody makes you build with blocks if you don't want to. Do I ever tell you, Erinel, you can't leave your room until you've built a tower at least four blocks high!

E: (laughing) No.

F: Could I make you build a tower? Could I hold your wrists and force you to pick up the blocks and put them in place?

E: Maybe. You're really big and I'm just little.

F: Would it be fun? If you really didn't want to, and I made you anyway?

E: No.

F: Isn't that what you were doing with Charlie? He really didn't want to go out and play with you right then. But you decided to make him do it. You decided that he had to come and play with you right that minute. And if he didn't want to, you'd stop him from building his city.

E: You and Mom won't let me play outside if Charlie doesn't come.

F: That used to be true, but for months now we've been letting you play in the back yard by yourself.

E: It's no fun by myself!

F: But it's fun with Charlie, right?

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