I don’t have kids. This is a thing I’ve thought about. Depending on who asks, I’ll usually answer the “why not” question with something glib and vague– like “well, I like being selfish.”
This weeds people out of the discussion because many already assume I’m selfish and are just looking for confirmation. So, here you go. Bye.
But one of my major hesitations is that I’m terrified by the prospect of having a child. I know I’m writing about something I fundamentally can’t understand because I haven’t experienced it, so I’m speculating. But I feel like having a kid is like taking the purest most innocent part of your soul– the part that was there from the beginning, before the cynicism and nihilism and jaded residue built up– and putting it inside a more vulnerable vessel that doesn’t know how to take care of itself without your help. Then, after a short period of time, you start letting that piece of your soul wander off into the world without you. Out into a world where people are interested in destroying it.
I’m not sure I can handle that. So I guess I’m selfish because I don’t want to invite the vulnerability of worrying whether my child– this soul-bound part of myself– is going to die in a violent moment of terror because the country I was born into prioritizes the earnings of the gun industry over the inevitable profit and loss of a few dozen murdered kids every year.
I’m about to travel outside my country. This is a thing I do. Depending on who asks, I’ll usually answer the “why” question with something glib and vague– like “well, I like adventure.”
But the truth is I like seeing how other humans are doing– and have done– Life. And because nothing expands your worldview and exposes the limitations of your mindset, assumptions, and prejudices quite like getting outside the bubble you were born into.
Most of the time my thoughts want to go ZING BANG POW but instead they’re slowed to a crawl, constantly pausing at mental checkpoints to examine the source of my judgment, the belief informing it, where that belief came from, and whether I might be wrong– which I often am. It’s not fun. It’s so much more comforting to be right, so right, the most rightest, shake your fist and roll your eyes and “ugh, people.”
I came from the same world as most of the humans I find myself arguing with on social media. I know this vicious debate thing is a part of our culture but I’m not particularly good at it, and it’s frustrating because it feels like arguing with a past version of myself.
Or with a frog stuck at the bottom of a well who’ll never be convinced the sea exists.
Just this morning someone told me it’s illogical to compare ourselves to Australia because they have “a very different culture.” First of all, what? Second of all, you’re the person advocating we station armed guards outside schools so kids are safe. Guess where else they do that? Nigeria. Because of Boko Haram. That’s your grand vision for America? [Read more…]
Want to keep in touch? Drop your email below and I'll send you FULL POSTS anytime I write something new. Only want to know book news? Get on the list here.