Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I’ve been searching for ten minutes in which to respond to James P’s thoughtful posts about happiness and children – and here they are. I’ve always thought that studies on whether children make you happy were bogus. Happiness and even contentment are things of the moment. Sex, steak, a check in the mail, a glass of malt – those things make you happy – just as stubbing your toe or getting fired make you unhappy. The goal of life, though, is to live – to live abundantly as our old friend Uncle Jesus liked to say – and if having children doesn’t add to your abundance of life, you’re not doing it right. Abundance of life exists through grief and joy and I doubt any study can measure it. Indeed I doubt the people who measure things even know it’s there to be measured. My wife and I have an in-house expression used to welcome children, pets, friends, charities and other annoyances: “More love – more life.” The reverse is also true: Mark Steyn sees societies dying through depopulation and he’s right – but I would submit that a society that loses the urge to bring children into the world is already dead and just doesn’t know it yet. More precisely, such a society is alive without living. Children may not be the only cure for that but they’re a sure one.