It’s springtime, and all God’s creatures are ready for mating, but psychobabble killjoys are warning: Don’t have kids. They’ll make you miserable, and you’ll deserve taxation for environmental abuse.
On May 8, just as the songbirds were readying nests for their offspring, a Harvard professor tried to put a damper on the joys of human procreation by declaring that having children strips happiness from their parents. Professor Daniel Gilbert announced to the Happiness and its Causes conference in Sydney, Australia, that with each child the barometer of happiness plummets.
In an incongruous statement, Gilbert acquiesced that “… children do seem to increase happiness as long as you’re expecting them, but as soon as you have them, trouble sets in.”
The professor evidently has it all figured out. He says that with each additional child, happiness wanes. And by the time the children hit adolescence, life becomes a pit of despair. The sun only comes out again when the “children grow up and go away.” Bye-bye birdie.
Another sage, Associate Professor Barry Walters, recently submitted to the Medical Journal of Australia that parents bringing more than two children into the world should be taxed. Favoring “greenhouse-friendly” uses such as sterilization to earn Al Gore green-stamp points in carbon credits, Walters “implied the federal government should ditch the $4,133 baby bonus and consider population controls like those in China and India,” according to News.com.au.
Commenting on Walters’ statement, Angela Conway with the Australian Family Association opined that it’s ludicrous to castigate babies for global warming. “I think self-important professors with silly ideas should have to pay carbon tax for all the hot air they create,” she said. Conway added that abundant evidence shows “that child-rich families have much lower resource consumption per head than other styles of households.”
Clearly, pro-depopulation Walters is very unhappy with children. He must have 30 kids of his own to be in such a frump. But does happy Gilbert have a point? Are most parents, even Christian ones, sad that they have children?
Tragically the answer may be yes, but it is not the fault of the children. It is the fault of the parents.
In order for a parent to be happy with a child, he or she must be enthusiastically involved in the life of the child. But many of today’s parents are much more enthusiastic about attaining goals pertaining to material and ego status. Living in a predominantly narcissistic and self-serving society, today’s children are missing both quality and quantity time with their parents, in spite of parents’ claims to the contrary.
According to A.C. Nielsen statistics, in a typical year, an average American child spends 900 hours in public school, 1,500 hours watching television and only 22 hours in meaningful conversation with his parents.
Draw your own conclusions.
Millions of parents are putting affluence ahead of parental influence in the lives of their children.
The authors of the book “Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic” define a modern phenomenon dubbed affluenza as “a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.” It is characterized by compulsive spending, succumbing to consumer marketers, craving material possessions, egocentric focus on clothing brands and high rates of college debt, all due to desire for prestige.
In a Technology Review article James Surowiecki stated, “Since the 1950s, reports of major depression have increased tenfold.” Continuing he says, “People are more anxious … and get divorced more often.” Today, there are 20 percent fewer children per household than there were in the 1950s. So it appears that as the number of children in a family goes down, the rate of depression goes up. Interestingly, there is one group of Americans found to have low depression rates: the Amish. Their focus is not on material pursuits, but on their faith, families and community. And they average seven to eight children per family.
Evidently, children are not the cause of unhappiness in our culture today. It appears that continual striving after more and more “stuff” is at the root of the problem. And that’s ultimately a spiritual issue, since God has designed us for a relationship with Him. Devoid of that, we turn to cheap counterfeits.
But many parents realize the value of children, as shown by this letter from a WND reader:
I left a lucrative job in the banking industry after finding out I was pregnant with my second child, knowing I’d missed the first three years of my oldest child’s life. I came home from a party tonight that was held at a lavish home with fine linens and expensive chandeliers. I came home feeling poor. Really poor. We are in debt, and we are struggling like never before because I left my job to homeschool my children.
I came home, opened my e-mail, and here was your article sent to me by my husband who wrote “I love you. You are doing the Lord’s work!” While I still feel poor (really poor), I am reminded that I am doing this for the Lord
(it is not for naught), and He is my provider. My children are far more important than anything this world has to offer.
In the end, perhaps there is more happiness to be gained from listening to the words of a wise mother than to the words of pompous university fools.