I am now 37. Which means that people often ask me when I'm going to have children. My 'cut-off' date was 37, and that boat has now sailed for me. But to be honest it was never in port - I've never felt the need to reproduce. That maternal feeling has never been there for me.
Thirty years ago this was the exception. People had families, that was what they did. So what changed? Many of my friends are in relationships, and yet childless with no plans to expand their family of two past an additional dog or cat. Others, who don't have partners, aren't maternal either. Why? Has social conditioning changed so much that in the age of singledom we no longer feel the parental itch? It is purely economical, or has the need to produce offspring actually disappeared for many of us for another reason?
Here is my theory. It's going to piss a lot of people off but I really don't care so feel free to post comments if you feel the need to vent. Or agree. Whatever. My theory is that me and many of my compadres of my generation are evolving. We are the new wave of evolution. The planet has overloaded with our species and as a result nature is taking matter in hand by taking away the urge to produce offspring. Disease doesn't work as effectively because we have cures for many of the deadlier strains. Famine doesn't work because of Bob Geldof. Wars - based on a man's primal need to kill and don't tell me otherwise - is fought differently. But take away the urge to have children and all of a sudden you have a whole different way of reducing the world's population problem. How else to explain it?
To increase the population, you have to have 3 children. One for you, one for your partner, and one for the country. Even people who have families often stop at one or two for economic reasons. Having kids these days is expensive. But is it really stopping the population growth? No! 'Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding'. Heard that lyric? Folks there is a real chance that the human race is going to stupidise itself into extinction. In Australia, and I'm talking about AUSTRALIA here, the baby bonus is an incentive to have lots and lots of children - receiving $4,000 for each child popped out. The baby bonus is paid by taxpayers who are too busy working to have families, so the majority of people taking advantage of it are dole-bludgers (er, people who take advantage of Australia's social security system) and boguns (rednecks). The Australian government is meeting in Canberra this week over the concern that the baby bonus is being used on holidays, new cars, smokes and Jim Beam, and as a result the baby bonus may eventually be in the form of vouchers to make sure that the money is actually spent on babies. Which is going to deplete the population even more as the bogun population will have to find their pokies money elsewhere.
To paths less trodden...
When I started this blog a few years ago in 2010, I was wrapping up my life in Australia, putting a painful few years where they belonged - behind me - and preparing for some crazy travel adventures and a new life in London. Now I'm older, slightly wiser. There's been more laughter than tears, incredible friendships revived and forged, successes, loss and grief, and a shedload of travel. I should have kept this blog up, but like many good intentions it fell by the wayside as life took over. Well, no time like the present! I hope you enjoy, be inspired, roll your eyes a little. And like I said when I kicked this blog off: "You know it's not going to be boring."