Back Talk: Just Thinking ‘Bout Nothing

“What do rich people need and poor people have that is greater than God and, like, if you eat it, you die,” she asks.

I ponder the riddle a moment and admit, “I have no clue.”

“Nothing!”  she exclaims.

She is off in a tizzy just moments later, giddy with the thrill of stumping her older, arguably wiser babysitter. But her brother hangs around, kicking dirt, sheepishly staring at his feet as he half-skips, half-lopes toward the glass door of the office.

“It’s funny, y’know,” he mutters, searchingly, bemused, “You’re thinking about nothing, ’cause you don’t know what the answer is, but that’s the answer: nothing!” He pauses for a second, halting, considering the implications of his statement. And then, in a moment, wizened, he sagaciously muses –

“Did you know I spend half of my life thinking about nothing?”

I am bent at the waist, clutching my gut, bowled over by the hilarity of this statement. Six years old, a veritable wizard, and a reminder of all the good things in life.

That kid’s gonna take over the world.

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