I’m watching a show on Netflix called The Red Road, and one of character’s asks her father why he can’t just take a day off work, and this was his response:
Look I have to go to work. You girls can’t just be home alone. […] ‘Cuz I can’t. I mean, you can’t just take days off. This isn’t what I want to do, okay? It’s what I have to do. I’m just trying to keep this family afloat. I’m not worth anything if I can’t do that.
Now for some context.
This guy’s wife is an alcoholic who is having trouble staying on the wagon, plus the voices are making sanity a little cloudy, so she’s been committed by her parents/his in-laws.
Netflix is a little dramatic, but so is regular life. When wealth became more important than humanity and compassion is where we went so terribly wrong, in my opinion of course. Inflation has devalued more than the paper in our wallets, but the paper’s on our walls as well; a degree, framed proudly in a study that’s a part of a second mortgage (mort means dead, or dying you know) means dick all in a failing economy.
It would probably shock most people (I was surprised, where you surprised?) to learn that the US has been experiencing an all time low birth rate, and has been for many years now. So has Canada, in fact. Actually, a lot of places you would think would just be BOOMING with babies are not, which begs the question why? What’s going on that would dissuade people from making babies? Other than the obvious “not everyone wants to have a family”, it turns out that once again money is problem. People want government tax breaks (it’s like we’ve forgotten how government should work), and more $$$ incentives to have children.
This is an article from 2007, so the numbers in here would have increased since then, but in short a stay at home parent (this article specifically surveyed women, but w/e) should bring in a six figure salary if paid. Think about that for a minute. Being parents, or even harder, a single parent, is hard work. They are helping guide a fresh new mind through hell. There are several allegories for this, just open a book once in awhile, you’ll become illuminated. In any case, today both would-be parents must have full time jobs that pay well over $80K in order to partially afford their new child (childcare is outrageously priced). The newborn is now a part time job that you’re always on call for. I’m certain I’m not the only one that see’s the many egregious errors in logic and ethic’s here.
I am somewhere between anger and overwhelming disappointment when I think we as a species have come so far to care and toil for so little in the most modern time we’ve ever known. History books filled with examples and reasons of what not to do, and what to do better; we might as well be rid of our own eyes if we’re not going to use them, and our voices for that matter.
If we want to ensure our future is prosperous, we have to stop giving power to the wicked and start looking to ourselves for the solutions.
tldr; Deciding to make another human being is beautiful, and should be treated that way not just by the parents, but by society. Wealth is not found in paper notes folded away in leather, tucked down a back pocket or in a purse. We need to value things differently, and stop using corrupt systems to fix the problems it creates.