Why aren’t young people having children? This writer’s primary explanation comes down to this: It’s hard. But the article has a bit more depth to it. A consistent theme runs through every point he makes: Young people are really self-centered (though I’m not even sure he realizes he’s making that point). Sample:
Social media is like the fear-of-missing-out machine, the machine that makes your life look infinitely cooler than it actually is. And it’s hard to be a parent, changing diapers and what not while looking at Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat, wondering what could’ve been.
Either way, on account of not wanting to miss out on everything in life, a lot of people are inspired to chase after what they want, which is cool and worthy of respect.
Twenty-somethings in the middle to upper-middle class have a hard time giving up their dreams to be a superstar DJ or a rap prodigy.
They want to be a rap icon, travel to 100 different countries, have a thriving career, AND have kids, all before thirty-years-old.
It brings to mind a tension in my own thought: Is caring for your family (raising kids) merely self-centeredness? I’ve long been reminded of Tolstoy’s condemnation of family narcissism (the whole world can go to hell, just as long as everything is okay with my little Andre), and I recently read in Dorothy Day’s diaries: “[W]ork for others. And that does not mean one’s family which is just an extension of self.” That, quite frankly, sucks to hear. Day’s words, taken baldly, mean that, on the spiritual plane, my effort to be the sole provider for eight people these past twenty years is the equivalent of the stereotypical millennial in his parents’ basement watching Youtube videos all day. She was, of course, merely writing in her diary, and I’m sure she would temper or add nuance to the observation if asked (and if still alive), but it gives one pause.
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Random Blurb from the Notebooks: When you find a good used bookstore with reasonable prices, you’ve find a gem. When I walk into a good used bookstore, I quickly take in my surroundings, looking for indications that it offers more than trashy romances. If I see it does, I plunge into a serene sense of urgency: I want to find some out-of-print or normally-expensive books (the urgency), nothing else matters (the serenity). I smell the musty bindings and the only question is how long can my feet and knees take the standing. But that’s just the start of it. The third part of the magic is finding the books you want, or maybe stumbling across books that you didn’t even know existed, but, upon glancing through it, want. And if you see it’s reasonably-priced, well, it’s excitement time. I call this experience “magical,” but that’s just a cliché—and an inaccurate one. The right word is “grace,” which is the opposite of magic.
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