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Why have children? (Page 1)

If your child is born in america, it will have a 15% chance of being depressed - so thats almost 1 out every 6.5 kids will hate life. Also depression is an inheritable illness. So if you already have depression OR your spouse has depression, than those numbers sky rocket to 30%. I don't know the exact numbers for when both parents have mential illness, but I'm sure it's high.

Your kid will then grow up to spend almost HALF of it's awake hours at a job they have a 39% chance of hating until they are 65.

Sounds fun, eh? Never understood it. Having children seems to be a selfish act if you ask me. If you want to put an end to mental diseases, best bet is to prevent people with mental disease from reproducing.
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replied October 8th, 2008
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Children also have great chances of inheriting all kinds of not-so-wonderful things from their parents, aside from depression and metal illness. So what? They have greater chances of NOT inheriting those things from their parents. If you really think having children is selfish, you should try out parenting. How selfish is it to get up in the middle of the night when all you want to do is sleep and help a child who is having a bad dream? How selfish is it to help a first grader with their math homework when you would rather be watching the presidential debates? How selfish is it to sit through a Kindergarten Christmas program full of off-key singning and butt scratching when you'd rather be having a glass of wine at your company's christmas party? How selfish is it to read the same story over and over and over again when you'd rather be reading People magazine? How selfish is it for a woman to give up her essential freedoms for 9-18 months whild she breastfeeds an infant with cracked nipples? Child rearing ios actually one of the most selfless acts one can do.

I can understand and respect someone's choice not to have children, but please don't insult parents by calling them selfish for procreating. It simply isn't the case. respect
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replied October 8th, 2008
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Marc, have you considered that mental disease may be a social phenomenon?

You can see that suicide rates vary dramatically from culture to culture. I personally don't believe that it is a physical disorder. I believe that it is a learned reaction to disfunctional society.

It's definitely a good idea not to judge or insult the choices of others, however I can understand your argument from a purely scientific point of view. It's not a very compassionate point of view, but if we look at our effect on the planet, we are pretty acting pretty darn selfish as a species. I suppose from that point of view we are in a way responsible for those of our choices which affect humanity as a whole, no matter how personal they may be. It's not fair however to isolate any group of people and blame them for our problems, or to say stop them from reproducing. If you want a solution to a global problem, then propose a truly universal solution.... Emotional Education is a good one, so is offsetting materialism with something less selfish.

AKchick, i totally agree with you. I think that alot of parents deserve a medal . I just wanted to say that we are indeed procreating at an alarming rate that cannot be dismissed.

What's more interesting is that people lacking education and opportunity are more likely to have children, creating more children likely to lack education and opportunity ... It is definitely an interesting phenomenon that concerns many institutions worldwide.
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replied October 8th, 2008
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What is depression?

Depression can be treated, so why not bring children into a world where they can live normal lives? I am pro-choice and believe more so in a quality of life over quantity, therefore, I can see both points to this post.

Daniel depends on what sense you mean educated? I have my equivalency but I'm well above the norm but I am also a parent and understand exactly how brutal the mandatory 18 year contract is Razz.


Marc what you trying to tell me? Everyone on this planet has problems, so only depression should be banned?

what about all the disorders and dieseases that are passed down? Should we not have kids because of family history due to cancer, muscular dustrophy, downs syndrom etc? How can you gurantee that depression doesnt occur in these people?

society created this perfect image for us to live up to, therefore if you are not, you should cast away your legs and arms, another bout of surgery and the perfect image have prevailed. To create a world without problems, is ridicoulous then we all have the same genetic make -up and become "John doe." Next thing you know, once depression is gone, the next problem becomes people who are obese or maybe even people who have downs syndrome, all for the sake of a perfect world, where no one suffers. How do you think people feel when someone close to them dies, divorce, a breakup, moving, dealing with a dieseas, being bullied etc>?

People all suffer depression at some point in their life, so should everyone be gone, life comes in ups and downs you just try to look at the more positive influences in life, if you cannot their is always help or even a way to regain that sanity.

childbirth cause baby blues, when it goes severe it cause post-partum depression both of which I have suffered, so should all mothers be cast away?

a few things/suggestions
-Educate yourself
-If depression can be controlled with medication or therapy(considering its mild-severe) then why aren't people taking their pills?
-Quality of life (what is it)
-If you are suffering from depression, find a hobby or something that you enjoy doing
-Wake up and tell yourself you are going to be positive
-Find a cure

Life isn't easy, it isn't supposed to be but remembering the good memories make you realize, why you are living and why you enjoy it.
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replied October 8th, 2008
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I took a look at your profile Marc, and my guess is that you hang out in the ‘depression forum’ because you suffer from it yourself - so I do understand where you are coming from.
But you raise a very interesting question nonetheless. I’ve wondered about the same question for most of my life – for different reasons though.
Why do people want to have children? Is it because they are ‘brain-washed’ since childhood to ‘get-married-and-have-children’? I can’t remember ever hearing people say that they want to get married and NOT have children. It’s as if it is one concept.

Now I’ve asked numerous, and I mean NUMEROUS people why they want to have children and I’ve never gotten anymore than a daft look.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that parents are selfish because I’m one myself and I know what it feels like to sit with a colicky baby that just won’t shut up and let you sleep for one hour. I wouldn’t even have thought it would be selfish to drop it of at the nearest orphanage. I would just consider it preserving your sanity.

But thus far my only conclusion to why people want to procreate is that we need to be needed. There is no other reason that makes sense to me.
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replied October 8th, 2008
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Re: Why have children?
wrote:
If your child is born in america, it will have a 15% chance of being depressed - so thats almost 1 out every 6.5 kids will hate life. Also depression is an inheritable illness. So if you already have depression OR your spouse has depression, than those numbers sky rocket to 30%. I don't know the exact numbers for when both parents have mential illness, but I'm sure it's high.

Your kid will then grow up to spend almost HALF of it's awake hours at a job they have a 39% chance of hating until they are 65.

Sounds fun, eh? Never understood it. Having children seems to be a selfish act if you ask me. If you want to put an end to mental diseases, best bet is to prevent people with mental disease from reproducing.


That sounds alot like you are promoting eugenics.



danielv wrote:
Marc, have you considered that mental disease may be a social phenomenon? You can see that suicide rates vary dramatically from culture to culture. I personally don't believe that it is a physical disorder. I believe that it is a learned reaction to disfunctional society.


Mental illnesses have a chemical etiology. They respond to chemical medications. Your comments press the inaccurate point that mental illness is all a matter of thinking, and if someone were to just think differently they could cure themselves. This is an uneducated opinion and serves to further a grossly inaccurate stereotype. I suggest you perform research into the etiology of depression, schizophrenia, etc, before claiming that it's all a 'social phenomenon' or a 'reaction to a dysfunctional society'. Eeegads.
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replied October 14th, 2008
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sillyakchick wrote:
Child rearing ios actually one of the most selfless acts one can do.


Sry, I disagree. What makes doing something you're suppose to do a selfless act? Why, because parents have the option of abortion or foster home or neglecting their kid completely?

You could just do the bare essentials such as feeding them and providing them a place to stay, and forget about helping with homework, learning, improving, etc. But thats not giving this person, you brought into the world, great chances of success, which is your responsibility.


btw, I focused on depression cause this was originally posted in a depression form.
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replied October 14th, 2008
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wrote:
sillyakchick wrote:
Child rearing ios actually one of the most selfless acts one can do.


Sry, I disagree. What makes doing something you're suppose to do a selfless act? Why, because parents have the option of abortion or foster home or neglecting their kid completely?

You could just do the bare essentials such as feeding them and providing them a place to stay, and forget about helping with homework, learning, improving, etc. But thats not giving this person, you brought into the world, great chances of success, which is your responsibility.


btw, I focused on depression cause this was originally posted in a depression form.


Maybe she wasn't just talking about the things you are "supposed" to do. Maybe she is talking about the fact that most moms would give their life for their child, willingly. You can't know the feeling until you've experienced it. I suffer with depression myself, but nothing has helped me more than having someone who is so important to me that all of my insecurities and anxieties become so insignificant in comparison. I've been suicidal at other times in my life but now I could never do anything to harm myself because I have someone who depends on me to protect her and put her needs first. Having a child has made me a better person because I have to love and respect myself in order to show her how to love and respect herself. When her father and I want to argue or fight with each other, we instead decide to negotiate and compromise lovingly to show her a good example. We want her to learn to communicate effectively and express her feelings in a healthy way. I will do everything I can to help her have a healthy self image and the tools to deal emotionally with the world around her. I believe it can be done because I have struggled with depression all my life and I am still here and glad to be here. I can't say why I have my daughter but I believe she is a gift to me and to the world and I will do my best for the rest of my life to repay some of that gift by being the best mother I can be.
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replied October 14th, 2008
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Beline wrote:
I took a look at your profile Marc, and my guess is that you hang out in the ‘depression forum’ because you suffer from it yourself - so I do understand where you are coming from.
But you raise a very interesting question nonetheless. I’ve wondered about the same question for most of my life – for different reasons though.
Why do people want to have children? Is it because they are ‘brain-washed’ since childhood to ‘get-married-and-have-children’? I can’t remember ever hearing people say that they want to get married and NOT have children. It’s as if it is one concept.

Now I’ve asked numerous, and I mean NUMEROUS people why they want to have children and I’ve never gotten anymore than a daft look.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that parents are selfish because I’m one myself and I know what it feels like to sit with a colicky baby that just won’t shut up and let you sleep for one hour. I wouldn’t even have thought it would be selfish to drop it of at the nearest orphanage. I would just consider it preserving your sanity.

But thus far my only conclusion to why people want to procreate is that we need to be needed. There is no other reason that makes sense to me.


Is there anything wrong with that? I didn't have a child to fix myself, I got the help I needed for my depression because I knew I wanted to be a mother someday. It happened earlier than I had planned so I can't say I went and got pregnant on purpose but I chose to have my daughter and I believe she chose me to be her mother. Maybe there is some selfishness to having a child but then there is selfishness to most things people do, like have a relationship, a job, a home, friends, pets etc, etc. I think most of us make up for that selfish aspect in spades by being the devoted parents we are.
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replied October 15th, 2008
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Oh, my Greatness, no! There’s nothing wrong with that. Just because I am not that why inclined doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it.
My point is: if somebody says that they want a specific car, and you ask them why, they will give you a reason – low maintenance, fuel efficient etc.
If you ask the same person why they want to have children they give you a daft look like the question never crossed their minds.
So why do people want to have kids? You didn’t answer the question yourself. You just said that you knew that you wanted to have children someday.
Is it a hormonal thing, because mine is really stuffed up. I never had an inkling of broodiness in my life, and it may be attributed to my hormones being out of whack.
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replied October 15th, 2008
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Beline wrote:
Oh, my Greatness, no! There’s nothing wrong with that. Just because I am not that why inclined doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it.
My point is: if somebody says that they want a specific car, and you ask them why, they will give you a reason – low maintenance, fuel efficient etc.
If you ask the same person why they want to have children they give you a daft look like the question never crossed their minds.
So why do people want to have kids? You didn’t answer the question yourself. You just said that you knew that you wanted to have children someday.
Is it a hormonal thing, because mine is really stuffed up. I never had an inkling of broodiness in my life, and it may be attributed to my hormones being out of whack.


Sorry, I wasn't challenging you or anything. More of a rhetorical question to think about...

Why do people fall in love? Is it just hormones? You can argue that a lot of things we do are because of our biological make up. But, if that were always the case, I would have had a baby a long time ago when I was young and teeming with hormones rather than waiting until I felt I was emotionally ready and had a stable relationship and all that. I think part of it is because we are biological organisms that have an innate desire to procreate, just like all animals do, it's part of what brought us to this point from being a unicellular prokaryote stuck to a rock billions of years ago. There is no shame in that. It's about the survival of the species on top of our own survival, so maybe in that small way it is unselfish. Wink But it isn't purely hormonal. You add to that the fact that you enjoy being part of a family, maybe you love kids in general, maybe you feel like you can do just as good or a better job than your parent(s) did. I wanted to be a mom so I could love someone the way I know a parent should love a child. I felt like I would be really good at it and I wanted to find a partner who would be good at it too so we could start a family together and share this bond of being connected by our beautiful child that we are so proud of and love so much. She has done so much for us and that part is selfish because she makes us feel happy and fulfilled. She makes people around her happy wherever she goes. But we will do our best to repay this in some small way by trying to raise her with love and try to foster independence and responsibility and self esteem in her so she can function well in society and hopefully be a happy person. Anyway, I guess that's my "why".
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replied October 15th, 2008
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wrote:

Sry, I disagree. What makes doing something you're suppose to do a selfless act?


Because you have a choice not to.
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replied October 16th, 2008
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Birch wrote:
wrote:

Sry, I disagree. What makes doing something you're suppose to do a selfless act?


Because you have a choice not to.


Right.

You can chose to have your baby terminated in the womb, totally neglect your kid and allow him or her to die from disease or hunger, or ship them off to live with a family of strangers.

It's about as selfless as hitting someone with an automobile and chosing not to drive away.
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replied October 16th, 2008
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wrote:
Right.

You can chose to have your baby terminated in the womb, totally neglect your kid and allow him or her to die from disease or hunger, or ship them off to live with a family of strangers.

It's about as selfless as hitting someone with an automobile and chosing not to drive away.


You forgot the choice of being a good and caring parent-- the choice where your world revolves around your kids and not yourself.

My mom spends a majority of her day making sure my little brother and sister are happy, fed, and make it to practice for whatever activity they are hooked on for the moment-- sometimes even picking up a few friends on the way. Seeing it from the outside now, I can't imagine how little time she had for herself while there was four of us in the house. She spends all her time making sure we are enjoying the time we have and I'd be selfish not to appreciate that.
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replied October 16th, 2008
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wrote:
Birch wrote:
wrote:

Sry, I disagree. What makes doing something you're suppose to do a selfless act?


Because you have a choice not to.


Right.

You can chose to have your baby terminated in the womb, totally neglect your kid and allow him or her to die from disease or hunger, or ship them off to live with a family of strangers.

It's about as selfless as hitting someone with an automobile and chosing not to drive away.


She's not talking about taking care of your kid. Of course you are supposed to do that. But no one has to do all the extras, like making sure they are really happy.

There are a million extra things parents do, from teaching them to sign before they can talk, taking a massage class with your baby, studying early childhood education to get them off to a good start, putting away money for their education, taking them to a music appreciation class, singing to them, dancing with them, painting and drawing with them, taking them to the park or museum or zoo or concert, etc etc etc.

....and that's just when they are little....

...as they get older you can continue to do many more little things to enrich their lives, not because you are supposed to but because you want to because you love them. Along the way you hopefully instill a good self esteem by making them feel special and showing them positive ways to express themselves so they can deal with the hard times life has in store (for all of us). It's about giving them a strong sense of identity so they feel like they have worth and a valid place in this world. Having that strong center can really help when you have something like depression to deal with. If it isn't depression it could be a lot of other things.

No one is telling you to have kids, but my having a child can in no way be affecting you negatively. I've always fought depression but that doesn't mean it is bigger than I am. It may even make me a better mom than I would have been without it. I know the signs, I know what helped me, I know there is no shame in it. My daughter will benefit from that knowledge.
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replied October 16th, 2008
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wrote:

Sry, I disagree. What makes doing something you're suppose to do a selfless act?


What is parenting?

Anywho I think haveing a kid is selfish but it is what you do after that is selfless, everyone has a different view.
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replied October 16th, 2008
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Selfish and selfless are not immediately negative or positive attributes.
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replied October 19th, 2008
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Re: Why have children?
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If your child is born in america, it will have a 15% chance of being depressed - so thats almost 1 out every 6.5 kids will hate life. Also depression is an inheritable illness. So if you already have depression OR your spouse has depression, than those numbers sky rocket to 30%. I don't know the exact numbers for when both parents have mential illness, but I'm sure it's high.

Your kid will then grow up to spend almost HALF of it's awake hours at a job they have a 39% chance of hating until they are 65.

Sounds fun, eh? Never understood it. Having children seems to be a selfish act if you ask me. If you want to put an end to mental diseases, best bet is to prevent people with mental disease from reproducing.

having a child is selfish? selfish???? are you kidding me? let me begin to tell you how selfish my parents are...first of all, i had a great childhood and didnt suffer from depression..neither did my parents, my mother sacraficed college for me while she was pregnant yet still managed to work her butt off for a really great job, we grew up in a WONDERFUL neighborhood and a fantastic area, when i was 16 i was provided with a car..which was my parents older car but they were kind enough to provide my brother and i a car to use until we could afford a car ourself, when i finally did need a new car a few months ago my dad so kindly went to the dealership with me and helped me find an affordable deal and helped me out with the down payment since i'm in college and cant work much...now, moving on to school..i first went 4 hrs away to a college...LIVING expenses alone were about 4 grand..much less tuition and books..it all summed up to be about 8 to 9 grand a year..my loan only paid for half...my so called "selfish" parents paid for the rest...having kids is NOT a selfish act by any means...you sacrafice ALOT for your kids, my parents have for me...maybe its you who has the negative outlook on life...also, try to tell a woman that having a kid is a selfish act..do you have any idea what that does to some womens bodies? and the pain you go through during childbirth? gee..how selfish..try watching john and kate plus 8 and tell me those people are selfish...how much of their life do you think they have to sacrafice for 8 kids?! Rolling Eyes
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replied November 2nd, 2008
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I'll try to say something risky, please try to follow me.

Maybe aren't we talking about the same "selfish".

I'm not a parent, but there's no need to be a genius to know that a child isn't easy work. Anyway: Yes. you are very generous to your children.

However, it's your kid, and maybe that's another meaning of selfish we're talking about.
Yes you can sacrifice, but for your kids. You're going to protect your children first, help them first, make sure they end up good first.
I've never seen something as agressive as a mother that sees danger around her child. Because it's like a part of you. Maybe in that way can we talk about selfish.
I don't think a parent feels happy to see he had nothing in common with his child and no influence at all. In general, no one likes to do sacrifices if they can't have some kind of reward back (a compliment, for example).
I think parenting involves pride of saying this to ourself, "I raised this child, I did this well. I am a good parent."

That was the other "selfish" that crossed my mind.

I'm not saying this is wrong. (besides, any remarks I make can be immediately shot back at me Wink )
However, if I am right about that selfish feeling (and I sincerely hope I'm not), then I believe it is wrong to have too many children just to feel that feeling again, while you actually have difficulties to raise them because they are so many, and as someone stated above, neglect some of them.

Maybe it's because I can only do one thing at a time, but I think I couldn't handle more than 3 children. I want each child to have enough attentions, and 3 would be my maximum to be sure everyone gets enough individual mom-n-dad time.
I like the idea of 2 as well, as Darwin said: "There isn't need in more than 2 descendants per couple of individuals to replace them." But that's more a matter of population control than family trees.
I just don't like that image of that parent sitting at the table with the hands around the head while 6, 7, 8 kids are running around, screaming, a few crying, none listening, etc.
I know we all have our reasons if something goes wrong in parenting, but as long as we can envisage, let's envisage.
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replied November 2nd, 2008
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s_kalb wrote:
I'll try to say something risky, please try to follow me.

Maybe aren't we talking about the same "selfish".

I'm not a parent, but there's no need to be a genius to know that a child isn't easy work. Anyway: Yes. you are very generous to your children.

However, it's your kid, and maybe that's another meaning of selfish we're talking about.
Yes you can sacrifice, but for your kids. You're going to protect your children first, help them first, make sure they end up good first.
I've never seen something as agressive as a mother that sees danger around her child. Because it's like a part of you. Maybe in that way can we talk about selfish.
I don't think a parent feels happy to see he had nothing in common with his child and no influence at all. In general, no one likes to do sacrifices if they can't have some kind of reward back (a compliment, for example).
I think parenting involves pride of saying this to ourself, "I raised this child, I did this well. I am a good parent."

That was the other "selfish" that crossed my mind.

I'm not saying this is wrong. (besides, any remarks I make can be immediately shot back at me Wink )
However, if I am right about that selfish feeling (and I sincerely hope I'm not), then I believe it is wrong to have too many children just to feel that feeling again, while you actually have difficulties to raise them because they are so many, and as someone stated above, neglect some of them.

Maybe it's because I can only do one thing at a time, but I think I couldn't handle more than 3 children. I want each child to have enough attentions, and 3 would be my maximum to be sure everyone gets enough individual mom-n-dad time.
I like the idea of 2 as well, as Darwin said: "There isn't need in more than 2 descendants per couple of individuals to replace them." But that's more a matter of population control than family trees.
I just don't like that image of that parent sitting at the table with the hands around the head while 6, 7, 8 kids are running around, screaming, a few crying, none listening, etc.
I know we all have our reasons if something goes wrong in parenting, but as long as we can envisage, let's envisage.


I agree that it is somewhat selfish because it is your own child, but having a child makes you (well, me, anyway, I can't speak for others) think more about the state of the world and making it a better place. I now have to be accountable to the next generation moreso than when I was childless. I now feel so much more when I think of children suffering, whether it is from parents who are truly selfish or children who live in poverty or in places where parents aren't able to give their children a happy, carefree life. It motivates me to get more involved, on a personal level, in my own community, to do what I can to make things better. When you have a child, you can't bear the thought of them suffering and it immediately connects you in a very deep way with other parents and/or children who are suffering and it gives you that extra push to help, rather than just feeling something and doing nothing.
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