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A Deep Dive into: Fear [pt.7] – The fear of future regret (Why have kids?)

This is a deep dive into the emotion that possibly decides more things in our life (or our whole life?): Fear. Here’s part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6.

I don’t have any kids. And I don’t want any that bad either. But I’m 35 and male so it’s not a problem yet (and if I’m like Charlie Chaplin, I still have over 30 years before it is). And yeah, it’d be cool to have a little version of me that I can mould to hopefully be a good person, and share some fun times with.

But is that a selfish reason to have a kid? And if the purpose of having offspring, across all species, is to ensure the survival of the species, and humans have already won the battle of survival on this planet (hmmm… Maybe microorganisms still have us beat though.)

There’s many reasons people choose (and don’t choose and just have kids because of a whoopsie), but it’s difficult for people to open up to the real reasons why they did (talking about kids is one of those topics that doesn’t allow for open, unemotional discourse, because of exactly that, the emotion surrounding the idea of children) so this argument might be a moot one. But whatever, it’s worth asking yourself these questions?

Why did you have kids? Why do you want them? If you don’t want any, why not?

Do you or don’t you want them because it seemed like the ‘normal’ thing to do? Because everyone else is doing it? Because you’re scared of being alone/not being loved or the fear of future regret (the thought that even though you don’t want any now, maybe one day you’ll regret it if you don’t have any?) 

Have you seen how many humans there are already on this planet? We’re good.

Our numbers are fine. Is it not a better service to humanity, since our numbers are already so strong, to help those kids that don’t have a healthy lives and don’t have positive role models? To help those who are disadvantaged and truly struggling and perhaps desperate for someone to give them positive guidance?

And doesn’t having kids of your own, if you are a self-aware, conscientious and virtuous person… won’t that hinder your ability to help those kids who truly need it? As you now have to put priority on the ones you made?

And if you’re already connected to every living thing in history, and you will be for the rest of time that living things exist, isn’t saying ‘I want a little version of me’ just like thinking that you want someone to have a small fraction of closer genetic resemblance to yourself, even though you have genetic data that within you that you already share with every living organism in history (and the stars before that), and will forever?

Or is it because you want to be proud of someone? But isn’t saying ‘I’m proud of you’ a selfish act too? Is not saying ‘I’m proud of you’ a way of taking credit for someone else doing something well? That you helped someone do something, or you trained your child or dog or pet ant colony to do something? You did it, so saying ‘I’m proud of you’ a kind of way of patting yourself on your back.

If you’re curious, here are 10 women who chose not to have kids. 

And anyway, whether there’s a right or wrong answer to this, who knows. But it’s worth asking yourself these questions.