A reader for yesterday's post offered these thoughts for consideration:
"Maybe couples shouldn't start a family until they have the resources (however they want to define that)to care for that family themselves. If that means somebody has to stay home, so be it. I'm all for requiring a license to breed. Too many people are having too many kids without a thought of the consequences."
I have multiple responses and perhaps you do too, feel free to add them.
First, if prospective parents had to wait for the Most Perfect Time to have kids, there would certainly be fewer - however how often in the course of living do any of us have the luxury of realizing Most Perfect Moments? Living is an imperfect thing, and often we don't realize our best moments until they have passed. In short, living is all about chances and risk. We are all faced with the unknown from birth til death, and I generally think we cannot ever hope to alter that.
Second, I dread the idea of having to have a license for having children. Are their couples and/or singles who should not have children? Most likely. Yet, a far worse notion is some government or quasi-government agency determining the requirements needed to have children. Go ahead and call me a Darwinian, but sometimes our sheer numbers, increased wisely or unwisely, often offer our best chances for continuation. While any of us can question the wisdom of some who decide to have or not have children, I put far more faith in the individual decision than those made by some appointed committee on procreation.
I do understand a desire to provide some kind of "quality control" over emerging li'l humans - but again, I have far more trust in Nature than in government or rule-by-committee. Imagine the horrors of those who live in China, where both the number and the sex of a child has been given a pre-determined government status.
On a side note, the longer we follow a national ignorance regarding sexuality, pregnancy, STDs, and a foolish concept of "abstinence", the longer we endanger our current and future generations. It's as if we fear the result of an informed and educated population, while I can only see the many benefits of a less repressed and more informed and personally responsible attitude.
It's something I've mentioned before - we are Free to choose are actions, but that does not mean we are free from consequences.
The agenda of the group mentioned yesterday includes some insidious claims - significantly, that most often parents "choose" to both work. In the reality of our economic systems, it is nearly impossible for a single income to provide all the needs of a three or more member family. If a couple has that ability - marvelous! As a rule, however, most couples and individuals struggle mightily to make enough to provide for themselves.
Also, I firmly believe that parents and educators, not administrators, need to be far more involved in creating educational systems in their communities. Endless testing is not a solution - the realization that education is a process and not a means to a career is far more vital.
For all the yearnings of various lobbying cultural warriors, abandoning our own abilities to reach a positive, self-actualized community of individuals is a prescription for tyranny and horror.
Is it hard to live with the bad decisions others might make? Yes. Are parents sometimes the worst enemy of the child? Yes. But attempting to control or constrain nature is a path to far worse outcomes.
That's my two cents. How about yours?