Carol Platt Liebau: "Beyond" Babies?!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Beyond" Babies?!

This "Newsweek" piece, "Beyond Babies," talks about the falling birthrate across the world -- which is attributable, in large part, to many people deciding they simply don't want children.

That's their prerogative -- and, for my money, if people don't want babies, it's better for everyone (especially the babies) if they don't have them. It is, perhaps, worth their thinking it through a bit carefully, though, and realizing that they are opting out of what's supposed to be one of life's greatest experiences (not to mention a gift from God). Still, to each his (or her) own.

Where the trend becomes troubling is when one starts detecting certain hints of overt hostility toward children -- for example, the story describes an Italian resort that promises that "Your Tuscan holiday will not be shattered by the clamor of children."

What's all that about? Weren't we all children once, dependent on the kindness of strangers? Why is it so difficult to cut a little slack for the little people and those raising them? For those who can't think any way but selfishly, just remember -- those little children are the ones who will running the world when you're too old to do anything about it, so we all have an interest in making sure they're brought up properly.

Besides which, they're fun (most of the time), they're funny -- and above all, they're a reflection of the divine. So have 'em or don't have 'em . . . but be kind to them all.

3 Comments:

Blogger wile e coyote said...

As a father of three, I favor a social compact: adults should tolerate the commotion kids cause, but the kids (and their parents) need to make an effort to be considerate.

For example, I can abide a crying baby on an airplane. But, parents who "zone out" with a book while their three-year old pesters the passengers in front or behind them make me livid.

Children give people a stake in the future, as well as a commitment to something beyond themselves. Living in San Francisco, which has the fewest children by percentage of the population of any city in the country, I have noticed a coldness to children (and not just my own). People are so into themselves here that they don't want to be bothered with others. They can deal with caring for others on an abstract level, since it makes them feel good about themselves and causes no tangible inconvenience; but, real-life accommodation is something else.

11:01 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Wile is right on. I sometimes opine that I didn't start earlier and have a BUNCH more!

3:22 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Absolutely CoP! I had MY first at 40. I tell folks if I was younger, richer and could keep the wife drunk long enough, I would've had a dozen. But I helped her raise her two girls when we started dating 24 yrs ago and they were 3 & 1. Now, the daughter we had together is 10 & 1/2.

But there is a definite attitude out there about kids that is disturbing. If it isn't poor parenting, it's outright abuse by parents to the point of death in too many cases. And of course, abortions account for much of any drop in the birthrates. Sad.

8:43 PM  

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