The comedian, Bill Hicks, who died in 1994, had a great bit about non-smoking.
In it, he says he would quit if he didn’t think he would become ‘one of you whining little maggots’.
Many people have asked me whether I want to have children.
When I tell them I don’t, they ask why.
First, why do we need a reason not to do something? It should be the other way around: why do you want to have children?
To fulfill our biological imperative, or because it’s natural, is not reason enough.
But I get it: I don’t have children so I don’t understand.
Second, 99% of the time they ask the question as if I have never given it thought.
On the other hand, countless people have children, mindlessly. And the results are often catastrophic.
For the past 2 years I’ve been teaching English to kindergarten-aged children.
With no formal training in early childhood education, I’ve had to learn on-the-go.
One thing that has become more obvious (almost doesn’t need stating) is that how a parent relates to their child is unlike any other relationship.
This can be beautiful.
Fortunately, I have daily contact with this.
But being a teacher and a parent are completely different roles.
I’m a decent teacher. But I’m not a parent.
I like children and they like me. But I don’t want one of my own.
Repeatedly, I’ve observed parents acting in polar opposite ways to their deeply-held principles.
To the point they don’t recognize themselves explicitly criticisizing other parents for things they themselves do, consistently.
Louis CK, the comedian, speaks of a parent’s ambivalence.
Parents can’t un-love their children. It’s not possible.
As a non-parent, my cynical perspective on having children, is similar to Bill Hick’s take on non-smokers.