I've been reading Imogen Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr at bedtime this week.
Imogen: What is an atom bomb, Mom? Does it hit the ground and burst?
Me: Yes, it does. And then it does a lot of really bad things. It kills everything around it. It keeps killing things for many years after it has been dropped. A man named Albert Einstein learned how to split atoms and the American Military used it to make the atom bomb and dropped it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They made a really bad choice. All bombs are bad but atom bombs are really bad.
Imogen: Why did Albert Einstein learn how to do things that made bombs?
Me: He was learning about atoms, very small things that make up everything around us. He didn't know that people would use the things he learned for bad things.
Imogen: Can I see an atom bomb?
Me: We can look at a video online.
Video viewed. Off to bed to read. After reading:
Imogen: Mom, I think Albert Einstein would be sad that his learning made people like Sadako die.
Me: I think you're right.
Imogen: Was it a war?
Me: Yes, the bombs were dropped in a war.
Imogen: There are wars right now. Do you think Israel and Syria will use the atom bomb?
Me: I don't know if they have the atom bomb, but I hope they don't use it if they do.
Imogen: I read in the newspaper that the United States and Canada are giving military supplies to Israel. Will Canada or the United States give them the atom bomb?
Me: I don't think so. I really hope not.
Imogen: People should not die because governments make bad choices. I want governments to stop making bad choices because actually they are stupid choices.
Me: I agree.
Imogen: The governments should ask "do I want someone to do this to me?" I think their answer would be no so they should stop.
Me: I agree.
Imogen: Mom, do you think Albert Einstein had autism and did his learning because he really, really liked learning about atoms and science and he didn't think about what bad people would do with his learning? Mom, I think sometimes I do learning and I don't know what bad people might do with the things I learn.
Me: Those are big questions, Imogen. It's possible. What learning that you're doing are you worried about?
Imogen: Well, I have to do lots of worksheets and I really like them and I do lots of extra ones so I get to keep them but what if a kid in my class makes a bad choice and takes my worksheet and gives another kid a paper cut with it? I would be so sad if that happened because it would be my fault for learning and getting the kid hurt.
Me: Did someone get a paper cut at school, Imogen? Do you know that it would not be your fault if they did and it was not Albert Einstein's fault that people used his learning in bad ways?
Imogen: I just think someone could get a paper cut. And that would be partly my fault for having the paper.
Me: We can't be responsible for what other people do, hon.
Imogen: But mom, we are! Everything is connected!
I think Imogen may be more intelligent than most people I know.