the enlarged view

Last week one of my yoga teachers told our class that her recent high school reunion was refreshing because nobody asked about cars or houses or careers but instead focused on the stuff that was really important, like kids and grandkids. Ouch.

Then I came across this commencement speech:

And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love. YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE. If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment. You really won’t care what happens to YOU, as long as they benefit. That’s one reason your parents are so proud and happy today. One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.

The thing is, I can understand how, on a personal level, having kids can help someone grow emotionally. On a societal level, however, I increasingly believe that our problems with alienation and insecurity are connected to overpopulation.

Those college grads will be entering a marketplace in which they will have to compete like mad for jobs that are becoming less and less desirable, and they will have to pay through the nose for healthcare and housing. Unless they are in the top 10% of earners, life will be a struggle.

It’s simple supply and demand. There’s too many of us; thus, human life is cheap. We could certainly organize our society in better ways, but it seems like we continue to travel in the opposite direction of “health and happiness for all.” And I’m not even touching on the problems of global warming, diminishing water resources, etc.

Perhaps it’s time for us to think of other ways to grow emotionally outside of the immediate nuclear family.