It would be so nice to just stop processing what's going on in the world. You know that waterproofing spray for new shoes? What bliss to spritz my mind and soul so all the rotten news and prophecies of doom simply would not absorb. They could just bead up and roll away into a gutter.
Earthquakes, floods, nuclear malfunction, tsunamis, wars, dwindling resources, poverty and even poverty coexisting with obesity: nothing but awful, depressing, senseless. ("Light" news isn't much better: It's depressing to see with what fervor Americans apparently care about Dancing with the Stars or K-Fed's babies.)
I have conversed with people who anticipate the grimmest possible futures becoming reality within a generation or two. But I can't recall talking with anyone who's genuinely optimistic about the world. Is there anybody out there who sees scenarios of actual goodness for humanity on the horizon?
Again, I ask myself, *why* do we still want to procreate? Why plant kids in a world that seems so ugly, when they'll suffer and will have to untangle so many messes that were created before they arrived? I guess it is nice to have cute, cuddly little offspring that does funny things to make us laugh - y'know, cheer us up. On the other hand, we could just get pets for that. But then again, we wouldn't get to play with the Easy-Bake Oven, visit Chuck E. Cheese's or watch Disney movies again. (It just looks less weird if you have a kid as an excuse to re-live the nostaliga.)
Perhaps the answer to the question, why have children now, in this world, is: why not? Even if the doom and gloom scenarios come true in a big way, we might as well fill the time while we're waiting for the end of the world. It's like knowing your guest will leave by plane or train shortly. The visit's over. Why just awakwardly wait around, checking our watches, absentmindedly eyeing the departure gate.
And maybe our little time killers (passing the time until doomsday and death) will turn out to be smart - smarter than us. Maybe they'll be better, wiser, will figure out ways to still people's needs, to improve the world. Children are the future; man, Whitney Houston was spot on.
By the way, if you hear any hard news - like that the end of the world is coming soon - then I would really like to know. (Because at that moment, I'm going to start eating a lot of ice cream.)
I would love to hear what others do. Do you think the gloom and doom is nonsense? Are you optimistic about the future? Do the terrible headlines get to you? How do you deal? If you have kids, how much do you tell them about the news, if anything?
With sincere faux cheer, I wish you good night,