CONTENT WARNING: If you have kids, you may not like what I have to say. Take it up in the comment area. But don’t expect to change my mind.
The topic of children is one that comes up more and more in my life these days. When I look around, many of my friends from school already have youngsters. Being only 24 (going on 25 in June), I would have thought it to be a bit young, but it’s a personal choice (though sometimes, an unwanted surprise. But as long as they are good parents. That’s all that matters 🙂 ).
But I (as you may have already guessed) do not have kids. And I decided that I don’t think I ever want to have a child.
Of course, given my situation at the moment, it’s not likely to happen anyway lol. I’m far too busy with trying to subsist in life, to worry about the pain in the ass that is dating. Not to mention the other emotional baggage I’ve accumulated over the years (my imaginary semi-trailer is full LOL).
Though the topic does not often come up, when it does, I tell them truthfully. And like many of my other conclusions in terms of different topics, most don’t understand the “Why”. They say stuff like “You never know, that right person might come along . . .”, which is alright. But when it comes to my reasons for that decision, I am not always entirely honest (depending on the person).
George Carlin (Rest in Peace Old Fuck 🙂 ) says pretty much all there is to say when it comes to my attitude towards having children (maybe not so much my attitude TOWARDS children. But not too far off either LOL).
At the moment, for me personally, they would be a financial expense that I am not ready for. And they would be an expense on my mental health that I’m not yet ready for.
And looking at the big picture, they are an expense on the planet’s ever-dwindling resource base (especially those born in the western world). Those born into westernized nations fall into the consumption trap, from a young age get suckered into a life of consumption by marketers. And not just the fast food and new toy ads between cartoons, but even built INTO many of today’s plotlines (mainly the Christmas specials, as mentioned in my previous entry, “The War On Christmas“). And it’s not just children’s shows (think of the sitcom shows where A gets in the doghouse for forgetting to buy his wife an anniversary gift).
And to be born in the 3ed world is to be likely born into poverty, starvation and an early demise.
There is WAY too many humans alive already (not even mentioning their over-consumption on a MASSIVE scale). This is why I am of the opinion that the way the governments of the world currently deal with children, is in a sense, wrong. Well, not with children in themselves, but more, parents.
Many governments offer child tax incentives to parents, often for each child. This is the part that I disagree with.
My first reason, being how the system is abused. Though not many do this (I should hope anyway), it’s easy for a couple to have many kids, just for the money. In this respect, you can guess that the money isn’t always going to be used for the well being of the children. Which makes both the contributing taxpayers and the neglected children in such homes, the losers.
Then there is the whole idea of spending within your means. I can get myself a credit card with a million-dollar limit. But if I spend myself up to that limit, and suddenly realize that I can’t pay it back, no one is on the hook but me. The government is not going to issue me a weekly or monthly check, to help ease the pain of my stupidity in financial planning.
Though arguably not a direct comparison to the situation of having a child, it’s close. When a child (or children) are brought into the picture, one should automatically assume there will be financial obligations right from the start. Right from the beginning, diapers and formula are not cheap. Neither is clothing/accessories, nor food, and a million other expenses that any parent can add to this.
I should mention that I am not totally against gov’t assistance of parents in ALL cases. Considering my childhood upbringing, I would have starved without such assistance. But the effort must be met halfway, or a valid reason must be provided if not. For example, for a couple that is working hard, but still having financial troubles, it’s alright to help out. An exception to the working rule could be if there is a disability that prevents the parents from working (the case of my childhood).
The parents that should be affected, are mainly those that abuse the system for their own self-interests. But also those that feel entitled to the funding (whether they can afford a child otherwise or not), just because they have a kid.
For this one, the first thing that comes to mind is a Facebook status update from someone I know. They had just given birth and were angry that the hospital had charged them $400 for the use of the bed (or maybe it was the ambulance ride, not sure). Either way, they had the “entitled” attitude, which irked me.
At the time I saw it, it was fresh with no “likes” or comments (and I didn’t comment. It better that way lmao) and I didn’t bother checking the commentary since. But I thought to myself, it was a decision between you and your partner to have sex. So why is it that I and other taxpayers are automatically expected to foot the bill?
And when it comes to supporting those children, my attitude remains the same. One should treat children in the same way they treat an expensive item (like a luxury car). Feel free to have a child, but be sure you can afford it.
But of course, in life, there are things you may not see coming. Shit happens. And one may end up with a child that was unexpected, at a time when one is not really ready for one. It happens. So long as ANOTHER child doesn’t suddenly come along that they can not afford, I see nothing wrong with helping out.
For me, one of the biggest reasons that I am against the idea of a child is its future. At the moment, we are still in great shape in every way. There is enough food to keep the stores full, enough fuel to keep the public happy, food and energy still being relatively abundant enough not to be a worry.
But, consider how much of your life is tied up in fossil fuels. Oil, natural gas, coal. And also metals, as they play a prominent role in our lives (think of everything from the aluminum food/soda cans to the electronic gadgets in your home).
Now, consider that all of these things are finite. There is only a certain amount of these things easily available for extraction from the earth. And we have been getting more and more industrialized (therefore, consuming more and more) of all these things, for the past 1 to 200 years. And now, our society is as hungry as ever for these finite materials, especially energy (oil/gas/coal). But the low hanging fruits are almost (if not totally) gone. And what’s left will from now on be increasingly harder to access, and process (would offshore drilling be necessary if oil were readily available in easier to reach places on land? Would there be such a market for tar sands bitumen <fuel that takes MORE energy to process than what is obtained in burning it!> if there was no shortage on the horizon?).
Not to mention, the climatic hangover that our past fossil fuel use has left us with. Whether people chose to accept facts or NOT, climate change IS a very real threat to mankind. We now I suspect are just beginning to see the effects. Because of the delayed reaction of CO2 in the atmosphere, the CO2 that is affecting the climatic system now is likely that of which was burned years ago, by people who have long since died. But we are now pumping out more than ever, per person and as a whole (humanity).
As I mentioned before, I am 24, going on 25 in June. At the moment I am questioning what the planet will look like, within MY lifetime. I’d like to put on the rose coloured glasses of ignorant bliss I once had, but I can’t anymore (once reality tears them off your face, one can’t put them on, no matter how hard u try).
So, knowing that we are heading into a number of shortages of key materials such as water and petroleum and its bi-products (also affecting food, as much fertilizer is petrol-based), I can not personally justify bringing a child into the world. And I wish that all will think long and hard, about your decision to have a kid, knowing that the consequences affect everyone in the end.
I wasn’t sure exactly where I could fit this into the entry before, so I will add it here. My opinion, that to be pro-fossil fuel and pro-industry, is to NOT be pro-life. This is aimed mostly at republicans, but if the shoe fits otherwise, wear it or make it fit.
Anyone who has paid any attention at all to politics in the US for the last few years likely knows about the republicans, and what they stand for. In recent years, they have followed the religious route, and thus are pro-life, anti-abortion and even to a degree, anti-contraception (think of the over-the-counter morning-after pill backlash). They are also very pro-industry, and very keen to stick with the old way (fossil fuels).
While the full effects of global warming are still coming, the vast majority of the scientific community agrees, it is happening. The signs are pretty much EVERYWHERE if you choose to look. Unlike all the worries of now such as the state of the economy, the dollar etc, global warming could very likely wipe mankind off the face of the earth.
And even if global warming does not fully pan out, the after-effects of “deregulation” and allowing the industry to self regulate could very well be the last straw. There have ALREADY been massive amounts of damage on account of deregulation (consider the Deep-water Horizon blowout, and the West, Texas explosion).
So if you are pro-fossil fuel, DO NOT tell me you are pro-life. Because you are NOT.