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David Hamilton

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On Parenthood, and "Opting Out"

A strange topic to place side by side, no? Well, maybe not... In numerous psychological studies, it has been shown that marriage, and parenthood, both dramatically reduce the chances that a human being will take their own life. Wait, is this about suicide? No, not entirely.

This is about a phrase, uttered worldwide by parents, which they refuse to elaborate on "When you have a child, you'll understand"... "There is no way I can explain it to you, it just makes you a different human being, when you have a baby"... Recently Joe Rogan even reminded me "America will never vote for someone who doesn't have children. People who have children, would never put someone who didn't have children, in charge of their military... It's a weird thing... We don't trust you".

What do you really mean? Well I have an answer. Once you have a child, you have made the conscious choice, to create life in your current environment. Thus, you are no longer allowed, to "opt out". This applies not just to suicide however, it applies to revolution, and homesteading.

In the mind of every young person, but man especially, there is a desire to feel free from the constraints of society. A desire to run with the wolves and park yourself under a tree near a river. Or, a desire to fundamentally change, and re organize the society you live in. Finally, in your darkest moments, as Ralph Steadman said of Hunter Thompson "he would feel real trapped if he didn't know that he could commit suicide at any moment. I don't know if that is brave or stupid or what, but it was inevitable."

Once you have a child, you are no longer allowed to think like this, and you must re organize your life accordingly. You cannot leave the society that you brought someone else into. You brought a person into this society, and now it's hungry... Stop wasting your time thinking nonsense.

I would like to suggest, that this is the reorganization, chemical and cognitive, which occurs during parenthood.

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  • Sep 5 2012: I have two children and I constantly think of opting out, so does my wife. This happens normally in between 3am and 5am after waking up several times due to "teeth coming out" fevers. It also happens when I cannot watch the US Open or college Football because Jake and the Neverland Pirates have Peter Pan guest starring... or when I hear Fisher Price's Little People songs over and over and over... and over... and over... and over...

    Anyway, what none of you childless cowards understand is this... parents, responsible ones, hide a secret, the see themselves in their kids. This extension of self is what you want to protect more than anything else, at least when they are young (once they grow... I don't know, ask me in 15 years). Don't get me wrong, we understand it is not us and that it is a different person. It is just that deep down there is some weird pride when you see a piece of your own flesh and blood... it's miraculous... that is until you hear Yo Ho! from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, at that time it is hell on earth...
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      Sep 5 2012: I'll take the label "childless coward", if you'll take the label "narcissistic monster" : )
      • Sep 6 2012: He we are talking about people not "checking out" because they have kids and a biological reaction "makes them stay" and you call me a monster with emoticon, please... I hate emoticons! You need to understand irony or "check out" already...

        Once you have a child it's precisely when the desire to change society kicks into high gear. There is no motivation greater than that. You want yourself to be better for your kids, you want them to live better, to think better, to be better than you ever were... and so on. But it is not a biological reaction, it is a choice.

        You are either too young or too naive to see that, so in the word of Sir Paul "live a little, be a gypsie, get around, get your feet up off the ground, live a little, get around..."
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          Sep 7 2012: "Anyway, what none of you childless cowards understand is this... parents, responsible ones, hide a secret, the see themselves in their kids. This extension of self is what you want to protect more than anything else,"

          If you don't see how, "I had children because I'm awesome and there needs to be more of me even though the world is dramatically over populated..." Is a bit narcissistic, cruel, and funny, from my perspective, I can't help you there, it just is, I have a dark sense of humor, but I didn't want you to think I meant it literally.

          I don't see any evidence that parents want anything to do with society here in America... Their children are likely to grow up poor enough to have no option but military service, to pay off the public loans their parents told them to take, for a college degree, in their passion... some fine art. Their military is used as a tool for profiteers.

          I'm sure they'll start working hard to solve those problems after "Keeping up with the Kardashians" is over. I'm sure you are a devoted parent, who also has a social conscious, and you may even be active, but most parents don't have time for that. The fact that Obama, OR Romney, could possibly be chosen to represent this country in 2012, is proof that "parents" in America, do not care at all about their children.

          To be fair, they are too busy spending time with their children, and dealing with the nightmare that is raising them, to focus on the people trying to enslave them. I do not blame them, but they are certainly less active than they need to be if they wish to have competent leadership.

          I've been many places, and quite a few have much better family values than America, but all seem to have the similar value of not thinking about revolution, suicide, or going off into the wilderness as often, after having children, even when their society is in desperate need of reform... Just a simple observation.

          Personally, I don't think I'll have a child though, unless I adopt
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      Sep 5 2012: Thank you Mr. Chrome! I remember those days. For my crew it was Barney the Purple Dinosaur. To this day it hurts my stomach to hear that laugh...
      • Sep 6 2012: Oh he's very much alive in Netflix... I had my share but not as much as you probably did. There is a thing they make in Canada called Calliou that takes the cake...

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