What do you think about the word DINK? When I grew up it was a criticism that something was a bit too small for the task at hand. When I was on a ski trip with my then fiancée Susan to announce our engagement, it was what a kid behind me said about the skis I was using. As life progressed, it now means Double Income No Kids. And this article describing the attitudes toward raising children in China speaks volumes about our current situation.
The article points out that many young couples are not having kids or are having fewer than at times in the past. They cite the costs of everything as their primary reason. That, on the surface, seems to be a rational answer, especially given the costs of education these days. I can speak from experience sending several kids through private preparatory schools and college. If I did not have a good paying engineering career I wouldn’t have been able to do this.
But, perhaps we are not looking at the deeper reasoning. Go ahead and talk to your children or those of child bearing age about this question, and compare their thoughts with your own. You will probably see the same thing I did when I look at this.
- They no longer see family legacy or even family name legacy as important. I remember so clearly how a sole surviving son was not to be sent to the front lines of a military situation … because it could wipe out the family legacy.
- The Royals in England use the term heir and a spare recognizing lineage to the Crown as an imperative. Recent events bring that thought process into focus.
- The move away from an agrarian economy … it is no longer essential to have a large family to provide for each other.
- They don’t believe they will live to retirement.
That last one surprised you, didn’t it? How can that be? Check it out and listen carefully. They believe the world is coming to an end as we know it and they are afraid. They have chosen to “live, eat and be merry because …” you guessed it … the end is near. That is what the global focus on climate change has wrought! They have no hope.
Most of us worked our whole lives to give our children and their children a better life. We passed on that goal from our parents and grandparents.
Go ahead and check this out please. You will not hear that attitude widely expressed. Sure, there are notable exceptions, but they are just that … exceptions.
We can point to an almost countless list of reasons why today’s younger generation are so different, but I think it is primarily because they have DINK aspirations. Their views of life and their places in it are just too small to be relevant. They have been told that others are to blame. They have not been told that it is their job to rise to the task. The tasks now are to be dumbed down and spoon fed so they don’t have to break a sweat.
We can find blame everywhere if that is where you want to let this argument rest: social media, online gaming, plus an obsession with digital substitutes for true friendship.
Assigning blame may make us feel a bit better, but it is not going to change anything.
Insanity is …