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Archive for March, 2009

I must say that I was amazed by the response to my last post: 79 reads the day it was posted, that’s quite something! I am delighted so many of you are taking time to read my posts. Thank you!
Moving on with this months’ post (I will try and post on a more regular basis, life allowing). As you may have gathered from my last post, my wife and I are expecting another addition to the family. We are both very excited and looking forward to meet the little chap. We’ve reached the point where we both want to start hugging and caring for a new person. However, in a moment of “doubt”, my wife turned to me after listening to the news and said “Is it right to bring a baby into such a horrible world?”. My immediate response was “of course”. However, it did set a train of thought going (especially at work). Then, a couple of days later, I read a news article on the BBC website that stated that families who have more than two children are ecologically irresponsible. At first, I was rather put off by this. But I figured I best read the article before I condemned it. After reading it, I must admit I did calm down and start to see the idea behind the article. It’s main point was that people who have large amounts of children regardless of whether they have the money, space, time etc are putting greater pressure on the worlds resources (such as gas, food, water, housing etc).
Fortunately, in this respect, my wife and I are not being ecologically irresponsible, as we only have one current son. However, I think she meant in the sense that there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that it seams cruel to subject another human being to this. From a Buddhist point of view (and I must admit that my practice has fallen well by the way side recently), being able to give another human being life is a great gift, one that only women have the ‘pleasure’ of experiencing. This sentient being could have been an animal previously, or an insect. In buddhism, to be born as a human is seen as a great privilege and opportunity, as only as a human do we have the potential to achieve enlightenment, the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Whether my sons take this opportunity is up to them, I will give them every chance.
So to answer my wife’s question, I think the only bad thing about bringing the baby into this world is if we let it be a horrible world. Sure, we can’t stop the wars, the murders, the violence, injustice and hate. But we can bring up both our sons to love and respect each other and others and do the right things. Whether they be following the Buddhas teachings or not. If all parents were to do this, we could well be living in a nicer world.

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