marți, 18 decembrie 2012

[...] I feel they have missed a layer of depth [...]

Despre lucrurile cu adevarat importante.

"I think it's true that when a country is seeing low fertility rates, it can be associated with a society-wide sense of solipsism or futility.

One common factor in Vietnam and Russia, another country where birthrates have cratered, is that over the past couple of decades both societies have lost what was once a very strong sense of national mission.

In both countries, the old national narrative has been increasingly replaced by a creed of pure capitalist consumption. That creed provides no logic for the transmission of durable cross-generational values; some of the worst child-rearing I have ever seen was going on among newly rich Vietnamese.

Of course, you could describe the problem via a different channel: in both countries, the collapse of the national narrative has predictably been associated with a sharp deterioration of the public sphere and a huge increase in corruption, which makes these societies worse places to raise children.

But either way, I think there is an association between the transition in such countries to a value system that sees no higher goal than Ferraris, football clubs, mistresses and stupidly expensive wine, and a declining interest in fashioning a child-friendly society.

Finally, though, and I'm frankly hoping that some of my childless friends don't read this: I think, as a matter of personal sensibility and conviction, that having children is an extremely important part of interacting with the universe at a level that extends beyond your own immediate circumstances.

There are, of course, many other ways one can achieve similar kinds of future-directed, altruistic engagement with what Dutch call the "whole-all". You can adopt. You can teach. You can give yourself over to some pioneering project, social, scientific or spiritual, that extends beyond any hope of renown for yourself and attempts to explore or shape a larger reality.

But having children is one of the best ways of doing this, and one that is both unique and an obvious core aspect of what humans are designed to do. I feel bad for my friends who won't have the experience, and I feel, since they are my friends, that the universe has missed something through that absence.

Some of those friends are sad about it too; others have decided they were lucky or smart not to have kids, just as most all of us decide we were lucky or smart to have ended up with the lives we've ended up with. Some of them never wanted kids, some really are better without kids, some have found ways to engage with the world that are every bit as deep.

But for at least some friends, I feel they have missed a layer of depth, have not been made to think about how to live in a way deserving of being passed on to the future (though God knows most of us parents rarely meet that standard), and have not been forced into dialogue with the time travelers from that future, who will ultimately decide what to keep and what to throw away.

I'm not sure I would call it "decadent" when a higher number of people don't engage with the future by having kids, but I certainly think it's a shame, and we ought to shift both social mores and corporate and government policy to make it easier for more people to do so."

Sursa: The Economist, It takes a decadent village


4 comentarii:

Cantemir spunea...

Romaniei i se potriveste ca o manusa articolul de mai sus. Aceasta este, pana la urma, drama fundamentala a societatii romanesti. Un singur exemplu: aprilie 2011 si aprilie 2012 au lunile in care s-au nascut cei mai putini de cand exista Romania ca stat modern!

Anonim spunea...

Scuze, dar e stupid. Auzi, oamenii fac plozi ca au sensul"natiunii". Din cate stiu eu , oamenii fac copii pentru ca ii doresc, pentru ca isi doresc sa isi transmita averea/genele, pentru ca sunt prea tampiti sa se protejeze...
Copii pentru natiune faceau pe vremea lui Hitler.

Anonim spunea...

Ultima lupta

infit spunea...

eu imi doresc un copil din toata inima... dar am prietene care nu-si doresc sa aiba copii... nu pot sa inteleg de ce.