My thinking continues: Ok, I'm busting my butt trying to bring sanity into the world, working to replace violence with kindness, putting kids ahead of our own petty agendas, encouraging respect of nature and the sustainable living which that entails, encouraging empathy and understanding, doing what I can to help turn swords into plowshares. And also praying to the Universe (if I dare to call my meditations that), primarily to "help me not be too big of an a**hole." I try to release the hatred I feel toward those who would trade our mysterious, beautiful, precious, irreplaceable Earth for a fatter portfolio or more pixels in their bank account.
And now I begin to wonder why I bother. My genes appear ready to end in one nanosecond blink of the geologic eye. Why not just let those who want to go on having kids deal with their own bag of sh*t? They will put themselves and their progeny into an ever-deepening, hotter hell of their own making by failing to do the most rudimentary intellectual homework; by avoiding reading, thinking, and reflection; by not trusting the very brains they were born with; by bowing low and kissing the feet of demagogues, whilst bowing and praying to "that neon God they made," the Almighty Dollar; possibly anxiously awaiting "The Rapture" or some nebulous, unspecified Apocalypse; devoting their sorry lives to larger, fancier cars, not to mention resource consuming mansions of solitary confinement; growing emotionally and moronically ballistic from watching Fox News; worrying about what celebrity has the latest boob job; and the list goes on (without looking, I can safely add check out today's Drudge Report for a never-ending list of furthered lunacy).
I hate to be crass, but why not say, "F'm all! I'll just bow out with the most dignity and grace I can muster, which may well be holding up a middle finger, when the ignorant fascists throw that last shovel of dirt on me. But why should I fight to save these a**holes?" I mean really"
So the Vehement folks got my attention, and certainly made a pin-prick in my balloon of assumptions. This is not really despair, which I've read "is a sin," but rather a realistic and almost cheerful acceptance that, "Hey! This ain't my problem! I'll soon be out of here and hopefully before long others will catch on and the Earth will get to heal itself. And even if humans hang on long enough to involuntarily bring the curtains down on themselves and a few hundred thousand other species, the Earth will go on spinning, orbiting, capturing and utilizing sunlight, while whatever species do remain will go on evolving, branching, multiplying, recycling the mess we've made, and the Beauty of Nature will ultimately prevail, unimpeded by this fruitcake species imposing insane ideas upon it.
At this point, I encourage you to consider the question raised in the title of this article for yourself: Why have kids?
Addendum: Lastly, I present three responses to my original article, which I wrote nine
years ago. First, Les Knight, founder of Vehement: "'Why have kids?' is indeed a good question. It's not
exactly the same as 'Why breed?' though that's usually what people mean.
Adoption and foster care are options for couples who feel they are ready to
commit to parenthood. Madonna, for example, just adopted an orphan from South
Africa." Les strongly emphasizes that Vehement is not about killing. Their
motto is "May we live long and die out." They suggest that people
refrain from reproducing, not that we kill ourselves or anyone else. In fact,
avoiding the massive die off, which typically follows a population's overshoot
of the carrying capacity of its life support systems, is a major goal of
Vehement. Fewer deaths IS the goal. There's much more to the Vehement website,
and it's well worth a visit.
These paragraphs from the thoughtful and
articulate Amanda Butler, of Salt Lake: "There are many reasons not to
have kids... a few of my own: I don't want to put myself through the pain of
pregnancy and childbirth; kids annoy me and I'm not very good with them; the
world is a horrible place and I couldn't subject an innocent child to that; I'm
very self-centered and kids would be a drain on my time and financial
resources; I'd probably be a miserable failure as a parent anyway...
But I also can't help but think how great it
would be to teach my child how to read, to help them learn about nature, music,
art, other cultures and all of the beautiful things the world has to offer; how
cool it would be to take them hiking or on their first trip out of the US; and
how I'd want to challenge them to form their own opinions, and be tolerant and
kind towards others, even when no one else is; and to be the ones who are
bringing a little bit of what's good and right to the world when the majority
either doesn't care or is doing wrong."
And Jack Alpert, via email: "Maybe there is
a way for the human species to be present on earth and not be destructive. For
example, very rapid human population decline (RPD), the kind that would result
from everyone having only one child -- not for ever -- but for the next three
centuries with an option to renew." [I recommend Jack's video and related
thinking: click here]
(Article changed on November 9, 2015 at 00:29)
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