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Sunday, March 15, 2015

SHOULD WE HAVE CHILDREN?




I would like to start with a real life incident.

 A father admitted in the ICU of a hospital was dying. His wife who was waiting outside the ICU was brought in to see him. She was looking very sad and distressed. He opened his eyes looked at her and told her he wanted to see his son. Although it was not allowed to make a call inside the ICU, she was given special permission. She called her son and told him to come soon to the hospital, since the dying father wanted to see him. Then she looked at her husband and told him that the son will come immediately. The father nodded his head and lay quietly with his eyes closed. His breathing was becoming more and more difficult. After sometime with great difficulty he opened his eyes and asked for the son. The mother once again called the son on the mobile and spoke to him. Then she told her husband that he is stuck up in a traffic jam and would come quickly. The father nodded his head but he was finding it difficult to breathe. Soon there was a loud chortling sound in his throat as though he was choking and breathed his last without seeing his son. The wife started wailing. After a little while a stretcher was wheeled in and the dead body was taken to the cold storage to be released when the son turns up at the hospital.

What do you think the father was thinking at the time of dying? Can you not feel the pain and anguish he must have been feeling at not seeing his son at the time of his death?

Well, the son will come to claim the dead body, arrange the funeral, accept the condolences of those present at the funeral and carry on with his life as usual.


If this is the case, why should we have children?

Here are some extracts from interesting comments in my previous posts.


 I have three children and all were married but one chose not to have children. I am happy to say that she and her husband just celebrated 25 years of marriage and don't feel any loss because they give so much time and love to others. I guess it's a choice that only the couple can make ...that is if they live in a country that allows open thinking.

Ginnie says that one of her children chose not to have children and they have celebrated 25 years of marriage and they don’t feel any loss at not having children.

John    -----A very interesting post and representative of the changing world we live in. It is hard to imagine though missing out on the absolute joy of being a parent and holding that precious bundle in your arms for the first time. It does require work and sacrifice and each parent and child is different, it all comes down to choices!

John talks of the absolute joy of being a parent and holding the precious bundle in your arms.

Christine ------ I feel it's good to have your own kids if you can, even adoption is a good thing.

Christine says if you can’t have your own children, it is a good idea to adopt.

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan--------- some parents are also scared of their son/daughter/son in law/daughter in law. There are instances where parents have been killed by children/their agents for money/property.

Such terrible things do happen some times. I remember an old lady selling tea telling me that her eldest son who is a drunkard, frequently comes to the tea shop and tries to strangle her because she has not given his share of the property.

Cathy Tittle  -----a law to safeguard care of parents is a good one I think.

Al Penwasser  ====Taking care of your elderly parents....a tragedy we need a law, huh?

If it is a tragedy to have a law to support elderly parents, then why should we have children?


jonathan  ------India had done something good to protect the rights of the elderly. I, myself, have seen how my own siblings are treating my dad badly when all of them, were dependent on him for a very, long time.

Jonathan comes out with another instance of children treating the parent badly

Shamu Boo -------I have never considered a concept such as this. How terrible it would be to have to drag your own children into court, but if it meant that or suffering then it must be done. Such a difficult issue.

Shamu Boo thinks that it is terrible to drag children to court.

Please click on the names of these excellent bloggers to visit them. I am sure they will be thrilled and reciprocate.

All this boils down to one question. If we can be happy without having children, if the state has to enact a law to get an allowance from children, if the children are not going to take care of their old parents voluntarily out of love, if the parents are going to feel terrible to drag their children to court, if the children are going to misbehave and ill treat their old parents, then, would it not be better not to have children?

I hope you will put on your thinking caps and write a detailed comment on this interesting subject. Please let your thoughts flow.









59 comments:

  1. A harrowing story for sure. I feel sympahy for all involved. Should we have children? It's an individual (and individual's) choice.

    Greetings from London.

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  2. As is said in Holy Bhagwad Geeta, '"nothing in this world is ours". So, I go by this philosophy. Though it was son's duty to take care of his father and be with him in his last moments, but he could not.May be the father was thinking why my son is not with me or may be he was praying to god.

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  4. There can be no single straight forward answer to this question.Ultimately it is entirely up to the individual/couple to decide for themselves.To have or not to have or adopt.I personally think adoption would be ideal - you provide a permanent home for an orphan/homeless kid.You also experience the joy of parenthood in home.There are millions of such kids in India/Asian countries or Middle east/Africa. These kids are either orphans or abandoned by unwed mothers, or abandoned because the family does not want a girl child. It would be wonderful to give these kids a new home a new hope a new life. My mantra would be ADOPT

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  5. I have noticed that children who grow up in joint family are used to living with many people in the house. They too take care of their own parents later on. Nowadays, the joint family system is going and all are used to having just 3-4 people in their houses. They have their own rooms. They can maintain their privacy. Even one outsider comes and stays at home, people find it difficult to adjust nowadays, forget about taking care of old parents forever. Parents should take care of themselves and children also should be prepared to live alone later. This is life now. I see nowadays that parents and children live in separate houses but in the same housing complex and help each other in need. This is the best method. Money is the crunch means, this method also is gone.

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  6. The trouble is thate we have expectatiom, not just of our adult children but oyther aspects of life as well and expectation leads to disppointment, for our expectations are our expectations and not necessarily shared by anyone else. I am a parent and have no desire for my children to look after me in my old age and I wonder how much our culture has to do with this. In reality in a civilized society we should not have to worry about old age yet we do because if it is not our children, then it is our bank account and if there is no bank account then it is the state and we all know how reliable the state is................................

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  7. In the original story if the son was truly trying to get to his father in time there should be no bad thoughts. If he was making excuses shame on him. There are many people who should not have children. If a couple does not want children they should not have them. Those children will not have happy lives. Children who are wanted and loved by their parents will do all they can to ensure the happiness of their parents.

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    1. so true. many couples who wanted and can really afford to raise children responsibly don't get one. While most parents produced more offspring but often neglects their children. I hope parents be aware of the future of their kids and have a better perception of it.

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  8. It always depends on the couple. This story is real. It happens. Adoption could always be an option.

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  9. Should we have children? Well, I feel it is up to the married couple. Every story has to be looked into from both sides before we can say who is right or wrong. And I wouldn't want to jump into any conclusion because we may be very, very wrong.

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  10. I think I might have kids when I'm older. While the man was undoubtedly saddened that his son never made it, he was most likely comforted by the fact he was trying, and he would have been able to die much happier if his son had been there. Of course everyone has the right to not have kids.

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  11. Very interesting post. I think people should follow their heart. Children should be brought into the world only if they're really wanted; not to fill a void or because it's expected.

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  12. I also feel it is not the mistake of the son who did not reach his father in time. his mother or somebody should have informed him much earlier, the delay was not intentional.
    Now the subject of having children or not. It is totally up to the two adults to decide whether they want or not. These days children have lots of responsibilities, they may not be in a position to think impulsively about having a child. Having a child and bringing it up is a full time, a full responsibility, it cannot be taken lightly.
    i have known many couples opting not to have any children and they are very happy. My own daughter who has been married for the last 5 years has chosen along with her husband not to have any child. My son who is not even married says he has decided not to have any child, saying it is too much of an additional responsibility to bring a child. So these days children have become more responsible than us, and think of the long time and also the short time problems about many things in life.
    However, not everybody feels this way, and i think there is not right or wrong in this issue too.
    Your blog cover is so good.

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  13. sorry i am so late in gettting here...ironically it is because my wife has been gone a week taking care of her father...he had extreme pneumonia and a blood infection...he just got out of the hospital today...and i get my wife back...but we are already making plans to go down again in a couple weeks to make sure he is doing well...

    on the flip side, my sister in law, who lives 3 minutes down the road from him was too busy to go check on him...

    so it was not that they were raised differently, in how they treat their father....but i think it comes down to heart....

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  14. Thanks for linking to my blog. I think it's good to have one's own children whatever the outcome. I don't expect anything from them, and will try to make plans for my old age.

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  15. I am so very happy that I have a son and daughter. It's more than just a narcissistic desire to perpetuate myself (a sort of immortality, I suppose). It's just that I wanted to give the world what I hope was a gift. The fact that I would feel the same if I adopted a child says that it IS more than narcissism. Maybe my children will make the world a better place?
    As far as taking care of elderly parents, it's my honor to take care of my forebears. And I hope my children will feel the same way when it's my turn (as long as I'm in a place which has fish sticks and lime jello on Fridays). Just because I feel that it's a tragedy to have a law doesn't change my belief. It's probably naive, but I have more optimism than that.
    BTW, that story broke my heart. I feel for the son. Can't be helped, but it's something that he'll carry for the rest of his life.

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  16. to have or not to have a children is a choice for as long as we are happy with our choices, then let that be.

    I just have my child at the age of 33 and at 33 that I had only found the deeper and different joy in my life and only this time too had i thought to put a direction on my life. I have the best times of my life at 33. :-D

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  17. I have thoughts on having a child of my own, however, all of those had been put in in the parking lot. I realized that raising up a child is no easy task. I need a partner, a good husband and a good father to my kids. That kind of person is very difficult to find nowadays.

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  18. If I were the father, there'd be a sense of regret and even pain for not having my child on my death bed, but it wouldn't be anguish unless the child's actions to "not be there" were deliberate. Just because he wasn't able to make it at his bedside before the father expired doesn't necessarily make the son unworthy of his parent's love; it doesn't make him a bad person. Moreover, it doesn't "delete" happy chapters in a family's life. Would I want a child of my own? I do, but it scares me because sometimes I feel I may not be patient enough to answer to all his/her needs. But when I finally decide on having one, there'd be no doubt in mind that I will turn the world to so I can rear him into a good person, aside from the material things that he'd require. What could the father be thinking at the time of dying? He'd probably be thinking and worrying of his child, instead of his own morbid condition. Parents are mostly selfless in this sense. He'd wish his son well, that's he'd be alright; that he'd find happiness if he hasn't yet.

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  19. I'm very sorry he wasn't able to see his son before his death. It's unfortunate, but I do think his son was trying to see him. I think the choice to have or not have children has to be decided by each individual on a case by case basis...

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  20. i think in general we should have children. but obviously that is a personal choice and most people will know if and when they are ready to do so. and obviously there'll be people who shouldn't have children even if they do, as not everyone is cut out to be a good parent. x

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  21. This is so heart wrenching. It is the duty and responsibility of every child to take care of their parents - or at least be there when they are battling for life. all i can say is that the son will suffer too and he will understand in his oldage. But whats the use?

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  22. I don't think that because we have children they should be obligated to care for us when we get older, but I believe responsible children who see a need to care for their parents will do so.

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  23. Interesting question. We have children because we choose to. People are all different with personalities and thoughts. I would like to think my children would be there for me, however there are no guarantees in life. It saddens me to think the son did not see his father before he died. He will regret that and he aklone has to live with that.

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  24. I think having children is part of the circle of life. That's not to say you can't have a fulfilling life without them. But for me, I am grateful for my children, and I love them dearly. I couldn't imagine not having them.

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  25. I live in South Africa and it is always a big issue here as to whether we should continue to populate - and I heard recently that the Chinese are being granted the wish of having a second child if they want to now??? Although I am very gullible and could be sounding like a fool....

    Look I'm at a very interesting stage in my life... mid twenties and really not SURE if I even want kids. I used to. Hell, I used to be the broodiest woman you could find... but I think I've hit this age where I just want to concentrate on me for a while.

    I don't believe in waiting for the right moment for a baby and waiting until you have enough money - because lets face it, that is NOT going to happen! No one EVER has enough money for a baby but when it happens, we make a plan. We adapt.
    Likewise I don't believe we should fear death as a reason to not have children. One day everyone days.. and to me that is the circle of life.

    www.bohemianmuses.blogspot.com

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  26. Life is messy and complicated. Children are born who are unwanted and unloved; children are born who are given everything and end up selfish and resentful. I have seen children devote themselves to parents who abused them; and I have seen children turn their backs on parents who scrimped and sacrificed for them.

    There doesn't seem to be any magic formula, except to love them, instruct them, and model for them what a strong and loving relationship looks like. We prepare them as best we can to go out and live in the world, and then let them go and hope that they live well and maintain their bonds with us.

    As for those who choose not to have children, I applaud them. Often it is the wisest decision, especially if they are not financially or emotionally prepared to care for them. To have a child simply because one is pressured into it, or as a sort of "insurance" for old age, could end up being a catastrophe for everyone involved.

    As a parent, I hope that my son will be with me before I die. But since I know that life is uncertain for all of us, and that death may come unexpectedly, I am content to simply enjoy any time that we spend together now.

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  27. Hi, Joseph. I saw your comment you posted on my blog, about getting one's self motivated to write. You're a good writer, as evidenced by this post, so I do hope you decide to shed your "lethargy" and write your story. I suspect you have a good one in you.

    As for your post here...we have choices to make every day of our lives, some as momentous as having children. A lot of interesting comments here on the topic. I personally have never regretted having children.

    Again, thanks for stopping by....

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  28. I think it should be couple's choice and I dont think having the chidren is necessary. Yes i agree they bring lot of joy in life but they bring more amount of misery and a whole life liability.
    People want children because they themselves can love only their own, otherwise there are always good people around us, we dont need to have children to fill that void.

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  29. That is a sad story! Things did not go well for the father and son mostly because of the traffic which couldn't be changed. Hopefully they found a way to be at peace with the way things were.

    There are many reasons to have or not have children, each case is different.

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  30. Tragic that the father had to go through that pain as he lay dying. Of course we don't have the background as to why the son didn't come.
    We have our children but we can never know how they're going to turn out. It is lovely when children appreciate their parents as they grow old but this is not always the case.

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  31. I don't think the dying father was thinking that he didn't get to see his son. I rather think that his last thoughts about it were that he was anticipating getting to see his son. Anticipation of a good thing is sometimes even better than getting that good thing. I think it's a good thing to have kids no matter how they turn out. As long as you raised them the best you could, you know that something of you will live on in them.

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  32. Hello,

    Would it be better not to have children? Depends. It's a very personal choice, the desire to have children is not the same for everyone. In this instance it is terribly sad both for the father and the son who did not get to see each other. Unless we know the reasons behind why the son could not make it in time, why judge?

    Should people have children only as a safeguard for old age?

    I personally can never regret the experience of parenthood. My child makes my life sparkle in unimaginable ways :)

    Have a great week. Nice to meet you.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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  33. I honestly think this depends on the parents to be. I don't think measuring whether we should have children by what they can give us in return in future should even come into it, because that puts parents into the head-space where they think it's okay to force kids into careers and lives that they don't love.

    Which could very possibly cause that thing where parents and children become estranged.

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  34. What comes to mind is The Prophet by Gibran who wrote about children and other life issues ~ to paraphrase him ~ 'children come through us not FOR us' ~ And so I see those who choose to have children have many different reasons to do so ~ Historically children have been viewed and treated as 'property' ~ sad era of history ~ Personally, my purpose in rearing my son was to 'raise an independent, self sufficient individual' who would be able to 'walk his path' while knowing he had parents who loved him, yet, would let him fly the nest' ~ He does return; yet, as a mother I need to remind myself that as I age I too must be 'independent, self sufficient' and not expect others to 'take care of me' ~ unless I reach a point I can no longer take care of myself ~ Hopefully, my son will be there and provide care and emotional support ~ Giving birth is really a way to perpetuate life. We are all connected and all need to feel love and belongings yet there are higher level needs and that is all individual which does not rule out being with others ~ just don't expect them to live your life, your path ~ I have rambled ~ you ask such wonderful thought provoking questions ` thanks ~ Life is the 'gift' ~ live each day well to the best of your potential.

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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    1. very nice thought here. Truly inspiring. :-)

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    2. Comments and replies on this post is truly an eye opener though mostly said to have children all depends on one's perspective.

      Thanks! :-D

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  35. Hi Joseph!
    Hope you are having a great time!
    Sorry for the long absence, but it was a harsh 2014... Enjoyed reading your posts again...
    Blogtrotter is still in Valencia, Spain, with some old buildings around!
    Wish you all the best!

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  36. Had the son been sincere and loving to the parents, the father might have cursed the traffic block and also himself for being hapless not to have the presence of his son at the last moment.Had the son been indifferent to the parents,despite all the bitterness he might have cherished a yen for his son's presence.And here also he might have cursed the block and his haplessness.

    Having children in a planned number is a Nature's law. If all choose not to have issues, one more species will become extinct. Experiencing the care and love from the children depends upon the place and position of their prospects.Here the son might have helped them to hospitalize the father, pay the hospital bill, buy medicines and the like.So I think people should have their own progeny with restricted numbers to carry out their family legacy.
    If the parents find pleasure in population expansion( there are many who think so) the situation will become grave. Dearth of resources may lead man to take all sorts of evil steps for survival including assassination of by man for wealth and food.Therefore a family with two children or at least one child is ideal.Versions may vary.

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  37. may be cursing the society or traffic jam or politicians or may be thinking about no rebirth or born again in developed nation thousands of thoughts

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  38. Whether or not a couple has children is up to them. They should have them because they want to be parents, teaching their children to be good people and sending them out in the world to be good to others.

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  39. I am wondering if he was the only son why couldn't he stay there with his dying father. During the last days of my grandfather, all his sons, all of them took leaves from their services turn by turn and stayed with him. During his last hours each one of his child was with him.
    P.S. It is our luck and upbringing both, a failed child means a failed parent. Although growth and evolution is a truth of nature, and expectations bring sorrow. Somewhere Indian culture is not the culture of loners and sometimes friends and extended family also stands firmly by your side. We should definitely give births to children but not with the thoughts that they will be of our help in old age, but because we want to give birth to them, who knows what comes next!!!

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  40. I re-read your post and my comment and I realized may be son in this episode is not bad. We need to know both side of the story for any conclusions. May be he is a loving son too...

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  41. Hello, Joseph, and thank you for commenting on my blog. Your story is about children; those on my blog are my grandchildren. I have them because both parents have put their interests ahead of all their children (four! I am down to the last two). If I lay dying and this daughter came to me, I would turn my back on her. She cannot return to me all the years she has taken for her own pleasure.

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  42. Hi Joseph -- Thanks for popping by my blog today! We have parental support laws in Canada too. They don't get used very often. There was a big case here not too long ago, though, where adult children were held not responsible for contributing to an abusive parent's support in old age.

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  43. Hi Joseph, thanks for your visit and feed back!
    Yes, this is a debatable topic. I personally feel that it is the choice of the parents to bring the children in to this world, so when they make this choice, then it should not be done with an expectation. The choice has to be made only to enjoy and experience the meaning of unconditional love and selflessness.That is the beauty of true parenthood. Nothing wrong is wishing that at the time of death we want to be near our children but it is predestined who is to be with us and who is not to be..I took care of my sick grand father for a few years and I had to go away just for a week on a personal emergency and when I was away, he passed away. so it is really not in our hands, What is important is as parents we need to do the best and the children of such parents will automatically reciprocate and do their best!

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  44. Fascinating post! As a woman who struggled to have children - and who was eventually given the gift of a baby through adoption - I can say that my life would not be the same without her. But it has always been my hope to be a Mother - and my further hope is that we will have - or continue to have - a close relationship based upon trust and love that stands the test of time. In other words, I hope to have an adult child who loves her mother and will WANT to take care of me as much as I have wanted to love and care for her. :)

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  45. A deeply moving post!
    As a mother who miscarried 7 babies, and lost a daughter at the age of just two weeks old, I do take motherhood very seriously. I have just one surviving son now, and he is so precious to me.
    I don't think about what will happen when I am old and may need support.
    My son may well be there for me, but if he happens to be too busy with his own life when that time comes, I won't mind at all. I will love him just the same.
    I truly believe that unconditional love is all that matters...along with the ability to forgive...:)

    Have a wonderful day! :))

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    1. You are such a strong person to have survived the 7 miscarriages and I believed your son will truly adapt such a positive perspective in life. Good luck!

      Have a beautiful day!

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  46. I always maintain a positive view of all life, new or old, but I can question.
    __It -may- be that adding population to the world becomes a debt that nature must pay. Our life span is a mere Nano-second, when measured against the world's existence, but when stuffed into such a small bag of social morality, that bag can burst. (Soylent Green?)
    __I'm lucky to have my wife, my daughter, my son and my grand children, and in today's complicated life, I SEEK the best for all. _m

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  47. In days of old, so to speak, having as many children as a couple could was to have enough of them to survive to help support the family and to care for their elderly parents when the time came. Society has changed--children go off and build lives for themselves. Some take care of their parents others leave them to society, I think now it's become a personal responsibility of everyone to prepare for their own elder years "just in case" the children won't be there to help.

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    1. It is in our culture that children shall take care of their olds, however, you are right in telling that it's our personal responsibility to prepare ourselves when the sunset our lives comes in.

      I saw elder people who lives alone simply because they remain to be single and don't have child. I guess it's their choice. Whatever their reasons are, it's their choice still. For me, I'll be happy if my kid look for me when i age, but I am praying that it will not be hard for him.

      Have a pleasant day!

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  48. I never had children because I knew they would require a lot of money and responsibility, and worse yet, would limit my freedom. Now, I have a surrogate granddaughter who is one of the chief joys of my life. Funny, but I always enjoyed children.

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  49. One biological son and 2 stepsons ~ I enjoyed all of them. My biological son I reared to become an independent, self sufficient and gainfully employed individual. He is doing well ~ I am glad I gave birth to him and sometimes wish I had more birth children ~ yet it was not 'in the cards'. Recently, as I begin to age I realized how 'attached' I was to my biological son and felt I needed to be less attached ~ I love him and always will but he has his 'path' and I have mine. Yet, when my 'last day comes ~ I will probably want my son to be there ~ Yet if he is not able to do so I will feel his 'spirit' with me and that will be as it is. I know longer feel 'alone' ~ I know that all those who went before me are 'watching over me'. That though gives me great peace.
    Now as to what this dying man might have been thinking, I think he was already 'dancing with the angels' and had moved on ~ No blame on anyone ~ His son was there 'in spirit' and in his heart helping him to 'cross over' ~ to where? ~ it is a continuum ~ 'a never ending story.' Round and Round ~ Enjoy ~ namaste, Carol

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  50. Hi Joseph!
    Thanks for your comment at Blogtrotter.

    Holiday in Portugal - 41 years of democracy and 45 years I met my wife. Champagne is already in the fridge. Cheers...
    Our daughter is living abroad...

    Enjoy a short stopover in London at Blogtrotter
    Wish you a great weekend!

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  51. Hello, I'm River, thank you for dropping in on my blog. I have four children and whether or not to have any in the first place is a difficult question. Some people know for sure they do not want any and that's fair enough. For the rest of us, do we want them because we love children? do we want them so we can share the delights we knew ourselves as children? Do we want them because our mothers are demanding grandchildren? Do we want them so there will be someone to look after us in our old age? These last two are the hardest to answer. I had my children because I wanted them, but I knew too, that my mother was an only child and my siblings don't have children, so mine were the only grandchildren she would get. Having children only to have yourself looked after in old age puts a burden on children they may not want, especially in cultures where everything is focused on the young, with the elderly being shunted aside, maybe into a nursing home and visited only at Christmas. I'm happy living and coping on my own, I do see my children, and my grandchildren often enough, but I don't want to be dependent on them.
    I probably haven't answered your question, just put forth my own views.

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  52. Namaste & Blessings.....

    Parenting is one of the hardest job on earth (its round the clock 24/7, 365 days a year) for which there is no "one fit all" generic rule book on how to do it correctly, precisely and appropriately. This is further complicated by the diversity in character and personality that challenges any "rule" parents make up that may come into play simply because "what works for one child, may not work for another," it simply is an on the job training where child learns from parent and parent learns from child (what works, what doesn't, where modification needs to be had and what needs to be do away with).

    Personally parenting, bringing children into the world should be a choice and not an entitlement because not all who could produce children should. Not all men should be fathers and not all women should be mothers.

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