optimism = kids

I was at a dinner recently and talked to a very accomplished woman who, like many intelligent people I know, was pessimistic about the future. In fact, when we took a poll of people at dinner on who was “very optimistic,” “optimistic,” “pessimistic,” or “very pessimistic,” I was the only one who was “very optimistic” (am I just deluding myself???).

And she mentioned that because she was so pessimistic about the future, her and her husband decided not to have kids. They did not feel right about bringing kids into this world.

That comment really made me think. I had never heard of that. Do you know other people that feel that way??

7 thoughts on “optimism = kids

  1. Ben Casnocha

    She’s nuts. There’s never been a better time to be alive – http://ben.casnocha.com/2006/08/theres_never_be.html
    Optimism always beats pessimism. Bob Sutton recently posted on this – http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/08/decide_to_do_so.html
    “So, if you look at the innovation and entrepreneurship game from a portfolio perspectives, this means that – although their failure rate will remain plenty high – investors will do better over the long hail if they bet on persuasive optimists.”

  2. Ben

    I have all kinds of tough comments on this one….
    But let me be more constructive.
    She should have a 7 year old little red headed girl or a 12 year old little boy who laughs randomly while reading a book.
    Even if she had one of them she would HAVE to be more optimitic. Kids breed optimism. Have some.
    The whole creation process is rather fun too.

  3. Jeremy

    Never posted on your blog…until now, obviously.
    Had a few reactions when I read this. I’m the father of a 2.5 yr old girl and a 1 year old boy.
    It is-by far-the greatest (and most humanizing) experience I have ever (and continue) to have.
    I share this woman’s pessimism about the future–at least for the short-term given my views on Islamo-fascism.
    That being said, I’m not giving up. And the way I don’t give up is by raising children who will go out and positively improve the world…making it better, safer, healthier, and wealthier.
    This woman is short-sighted, IMHO. She’s got a defeatist attitude about LIFE and she’s cheating herself out of understanding the meaning of life. Because, after all, why are we here? (think back to biology)…to reproduce. That process helps you understand more about the world than one can possibly imagine.
    I kind of feel sorry for her, too. (this doesn’t even touch on all of the women out there who really want to have kids, but unfortunately can’t).

  4. SortiPreneur

    Lots of Right-wing Babies

    Auren has a thought provoking post on the correlation between optimism and fertility. It immediately reminded me of the recent debate on the Fertility Gap between liberals and conservatives. Can we now deduce that liberals are pessimists and conservati…

  5. Auren Hoffman

    ok … i am going to defend this woman. first — i don’t think it is necessary that one should have kids. someone should only have kids if they really want to give everything to ensure that child’s future.
    second — it is not unreasonable to think that if someone is pessemistic about society that they don’t want to bring a child into that world. that seems perfectly normal.
    third — having kids is not for everyone. i think society would be better if only the people who really want to be great parents have kids. many people have kids because of societal pressure and that’s not a good enough reason.


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