Four Noble Truths for Children?

Kenneth Leong
5 min readMay 13, 2024

About two years ago, I had a conversation with Anthony, my old classmate from Hong Kong, Both of us attended an Anglican school in Hong Kong. We were classmates from elementary school to high school. Anthony felt that Christianity has an advantage over Buddhism because the basic message of Christianity is easy to convey even to small children. Teaching Buddhism to small children, on the other hand, is not so easy.

Last year, I embarked on a journey to demystify Buddhism for the general public. During my research, I stumbled upon a meme that encapsulated the Four Noble Truths in a way that even a four-year-old could understand. This simple yet profound presentation read:

  1. Sometimes, people feel sad.
  2. Sometimes we feel sad because we are not getting what we want or something we don’t want.
  3. There is a way to be not so sad.
  4. The way is to not think so much of what we want but how to be kind and helpful to others.

This is truly a wonderful way to introduce Buddhism to young children. According to Walpola Rahula, the formal version of the Four Noble Truths is as follows:

  1. The Noble Truth of Dukkha
  2. The Noble Truth of the Origin of Dukkha
  3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha



Kenneth Leong

Author, Zen teacher, scientific mystic, professor, photographer, philosopher, social commentator, socially engaged human