Saturday, February 11, 2012

Life would be great without all these kids!


Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm becoming cynical in the second half of life. It just seems to me that we are becoming a society that places less and less importance on children. It's almost like they are a necessary evil but a nuisance none the same. Mostly, I get the impression that the adult members of our species see kids as a drain on resources -- money, time and space.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I think we still enjoy them occasionally and for the most part see them as cute and cuddly.  Almost like we might feel about some other possession whether it be the latest electronics, a new car, our front lawn, or something else we value beyond people. Kids can be fun for the moment and then a pain in the posterior the next. But mostly as a society I'm seeing a greater emphasis on the latter.

More and more we seem to value accumulated wealth or our individual freedom more than we value the honor of bringing children into the world, investing the time and energy needed to raise them properly, and contributing our fair share of financial resources to ensure they all have an equitable chance for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." And that's what seems to bother me the most. It's almost as if life would be great without all these kids?

But isn't that what life is all about? Aren't we part of an eco system that perpetuates itself by spawning offspring and ensuring they have a solid footing in which to repeat the cycle again and again? Do you think that the human species was created with the goal of acquiring the hottest new car or the biggest new house on the block? Was it simply to see who could aspire to the top of the heap and become an overlord CEO of everyone else? I don't think so. While none of those are bad things in and of themselves, they become so when the pursuit of wealth, power or position comes at the exclusion of ensuring the procreation of our kind and the well-being of our posterity.

"Are you kidding me? Attend a school board meeting?" 

"No way I'm going to become a member of the boosters, they'll expect me to actually do something." 

"I work all day long and I don't have the time or the energy to have to do the teacher's job and help my kids with homework. Besides, I sucked at math in school."

"Yeah, I was thinking about coming to parent-teacher conferences but I needed to work on my car."

"I'm sick of schools always asking for more money. I'm tired of paying taxes."

Well, let me put it to you straight if you're one who's fallen into this mode: I don't care if you're tired, if you want more time for your own trivial pursuits, if you want to amass more wealth, take more exotic vacations, live in a mansion or drive a Porsche, if your desires come at the exclusion of ensuring every child has an equitable opportunity to pursue all the things that you want, your position is immoral and an affront to the human race. Your sole purpose in being a member of the human race is to contribute to the perpetuation of it and that doesn't simply end with twenty minutes of self-serving pleasure, my friend.

This isn't about politics, or political parties, or other equally less important things in life; it's about greed vs. humanity and you don't simply have to be wealthy to be greedy. Some of the most self-centered behaviors can be seen even in those at the bottom of the wage-earner list. Anytime there's a need to come together and place our kids on a better footing in life, it seems to be more prevalent that the growing response is, "Oh, yeah, another entitlement for those too lazy to make it on their own." 

But I suppose if that's all you listen to on talk radio all day long, that's how you've been programmed to think. After all, it's hard work to think for yourself and that would cut into your own personal pursuits.

Those damn kids anyway. Now where did I leave the remote to my 52-inch screen TV? It's "me time."

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