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More on Selfish Onelies July 6, 2008

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought.
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 Although some people’s first instinct is to think that people who don’t want kids are selfish, many people actually *have* kids for selfish reasons: 

–to improve their relationship with their spouse or partner

–to leave behind a legacy, copies of their genes

–to have someone to take care of them in their old age

–to relive missed opportunities from their own youth

–to fit in, because everyone else is doing it

People like Lisa, who (I believe) does not want kids because she knows the effort childraising entails and has decided she would like to allocate her energies elsewhere, are just being honest and responsible. In fact, she might allocating her extra energies to starting a rehabilitation center for abused canines, or volunteering in an orphanage, or painting murals in retirement homes, I don’t know.  With a little imagination, it’s easy to redefine the parameters of selfishness and be more accepting of others’ choices and circumstances. (And also, if you do have kids, what’s more important to cultivate than a little imagination?) –CC


1. onely - July 7, 2008

C – Yes, I am most certainly planning to save the world. What with my lack of children and all, I can do it! But seriously? I may just embark on an eco-volunteering trip in the near future. Ooops, is that too selfish?! 🙂 L

2. Lauri - November 20, 2008

Nice post. I think that having children, especially large numbers of children, is extremely selfish not only for the reasons you mentioned but also because kids are externalities. You choose to have a kid, but you don’t pay all of the costs of that choice, the rest of society does. Your additional kid adds strain on natural resources and the environment, everyone pays for their public education, and not only the kid but the pregnancy increases health care costs and raises everyone’s insurance premiums.

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