Monday, January 31, 2005

selfishness and parenthood

Just a few more thoughts on selfishness and parenthood. Please note that the following comments only apply to the standard majority of parents throughout human history--not the exceptional crazies.

In my previous entry I referred to a past girlfriend who was a psych major. We will call her "Samantha" because that is her name and I have long gotten over calling her other things.

Samantha and I would often have conversations about why people have kids. Her position was that she had never heard any reason given by someone that was not, ultimately, selfish. We would go over various reasons, and she would deconstruct them and illustrate how any given reason was actually self-serving. I didn't have the information to contradict her.

whether she has had children by now or not, I am confident that Samantha has come across the two fatal flaws in her argument

  1. Everyone but the saints are controlled to a degree by a fallen ego so to say that selfishness taints our decisions is about as insightful as saying that green visible light waves are necessary for photosynthesis--duh.
  2. The answer to her argument is found in the actual act of having a child. An act which goes a long, painful way towards burning off a great deal of our selfish crust. I mean, I am still a selfish person, but David makes that selfishness frequently painful and glaring. Regardless of what "reasons" one might have for having children, the selfish aspect starts to lose water at about the time the water breaks.

If anyone out there is holding off on having children because the "reasons" seem bad, or because the "reasons" against it seem "reasonable" I would suggest a little experiment: have one and then revisit those reasons from the other side.

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