Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans


Many weeks ago, I noticed an article about raising children that upset me. I deleted it. Recently, I had a conversation with a future mother. Fortunately, ignorance is bliss because future parents might reconsider once they know all. As the saying goes: little children little problems, big children big problems.

I tried finding the article again. Instead, I noticed something similar in 2017: Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them. The subtitle states: We need to stop pretending kids don’t have environmental and ethical consequences. This is why I view philosophical beliefs as dangerous.

Late July 2022, China acknowledged that its “population has slowed significantly and is expected to start to shrink ahead of 2025” (Reuters). Late April 2021, the FT already reported that “China is poised to report its first population decline in five decades following a once-in-a-decade census” (eg, FT, Reuters).

This is the new reality: demographics in many country, including China, will look like a pushpin with (too) many elderly people at the top, and (too) little children at the bottom. Without the import of foreign labour, that will create a demographic time bomb in – at least – China, Europe and USA.

Animals, insects and trees do not have belief systems. Hence, they do not argue about having offspring. Only humans believe that there may not be a need or want for survival as a species. Stupidity might well be the flip side of having beliefs rather than a ‘blindspot in our thinking’ (eg, Psyche, my blog).

I have no regret or remorse of being a parent. It was a conscious decision based on limited knowledge.

However, I cannot – and will not – answer the irrelevant What If question: would you do it again?

Recently, someone mentioned a Dutch quote to me that goes all the way back to King Lear, a 1606 tragedy written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616):

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child (source)

In other words: expecting gratitude from children is a big mistake for any parent.

Children have beliefs too, including feeling guilt and shame for having arrogant/ignorant parents, for (not) living in a villa, for having poor/rich parents, or whatever else that comes to their immature minds.

Teach Your Children (1970) by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
David Crosby, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-album, Wiki-song

Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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