I consider myself to be pretty optimistic. Downright chipper, in general. Small and strange things amuse me vastly, I find beauty in the strangest places, and it all makes me happy.
So this post might come as something of a shocker. Part of the reason I never want kids is because I really, truly believe that it would be a disservice to them.
I’ve never been one of those, ‘oh, this world, how could you bring a child into it,’ kind of person. I’m still not. It’s a splendid world, in general, and especially so in my little pocket. I believe people are still generally good, and there’s plenty of beauty out there. I absolutely don’t fault anyone for wanting a baby to share in it. But more and more, I can’t help feeling that it’s not going to last much longer. Maybe not even for a single generation more.
*I should probably take this moment to say that I’ve been reading Collapse, by Jared Diamond, while sitting in my house being depressed by my roommate-less apartment, craiglist scammers and flakes, and catalytic converter theives.*
I’m not worried about my own lifetime; it may get a little rough, but not truly ugly. (And if it does, I’m brushing up on my apocalyptic survival skills. Just in case.) But there are so many truly, deeply, non-sustainable ways of life that are going to come to a head in the next 50 or so years… it’s scary. Yes, it’s still possible for many of the problems to be turned around (although some folks say it’s too late for climate change, which is kind of a bummer, especially for Venice and Japan), but my optimism has never extended to the general clear-headedness of the human race. We’re a stupid bunch, collectively. My guess is we’re going to foul things up way, way worse before we get inspired to do anything about it.
So no, I don’t want to introduce a kid to a world that is spiraling faster and faster out of control. Luckily, I don’t have a maternal instinct in my body, so it’s not a big sacrifice.
Of course, I might be wrong. I hope I am. I have one friend who never worried about the ozone layer, because she was sure we’d figure something out when we had to. Mars colonies. Personal ozone hats. Whatever. “Human beings are insanely inventive,” she said. “When the need is real, they’ll come up with something. There are some really, really smart people out there, and that’s what they’re there for. It’s just that they’re smart enough to work where the money is, and not that many philanthropists are funding space colony research. Not yet.”
While I do think any offspring of mine would be a survivor on a par with Max Rockatansky, I can’t help but think that sort of lawless, Sprog-avenging life is not ideal. Therefore, no cute giggling babies for me.
(I think. Never say never, you know. But I swear I’m 99% certain at this point.)