Many years ago when I was completing my undergraduate degree, a good portion of my study and interest fell in the realm of sustainability and responsible stewardship. As dark as it may be, it was primarily during a course in Environmental Philosophy that I was introduced to the Gaia Hypothesis and with that, the whole underlying notion that human beings may be mimicking a virus attacking its host. Somewhere during that time I decided that this could very well be the case, and since then have (consciously, then subconsciously) adopted this notion in making my decisions on whether to start a family or not.
Years later, I find myself reminded of, and struggling with this notion as my wife and I seriously contemplate the decision on whether to start a family. For so long I’d held fast to the belief that one of the best things I could do to help stop global warming and over-consumption of the Earth’s resources was to just not procreate – just do my part in not expanding the population. By making this personal decision, I believed I could affect some minor positive change on the Earth and its potential destruction.
Now as I’m growing older, I find an underlying drive and desire to experience the delight and joy (and pain) that comes along with the human experience of starting a family and being a father. I’m somewhat surprised to find myself in this situation – and discovering more recently that I do, in fact, want to take part in that special and unique experience that comes with raising a child.
So I ask myself now – “am I just being a selfish bastard?” I find myself wondering how many other people/parents have gone through this line of thinking and justifying, as I certainly can’t be the only one. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure that I do want to be a selfish bastard and move into a new phase of my life and take part in that experience. I think maybe I’ll just have to ride the bus (my favorite!) a lot more and grow a lot more of my own food and move to a commune and raise my child to save the planet from all of us!