“What sort of people breed like rabbits in the middle of a horrible civil war?”
These are some of the comments on the article “More Than 300,000 Syrian Children HaveKnown Nothing But Life As A Refugee”
Well... I'll give the simple answer to the last question before going on to discuss the issue. Could it be because that's the ultimate point of life? To keep the species propagating.
I understand the thinking behind the comments, I've been brought up with the same mentality.: That you need to make sure you'll be able to provide for the child before bringing it into the world. I feared getting pregnant so much that I could not even enjoy my sexuality until I met my current husband with whom I felt I could risk pregnancy as I thought my chances were very low at 40 seeing how all friends around were trying desperately and not succeeding.
A child is supposed to be a big responsibility. And it is. But let's analyze procreation a bit deeper.
We have a saying in Turkish: “İğneyi kendine, çuvaldızı başkasına batır.” It translates to “Prick the needle in yourself, the bodkin in the other.”
It means that first you need to have a look at yourself and criticize yourself a little, only then can you criticize others. So before you have the right to say anything to these people who are just doing the natural thing...
Is what we do here any reasonable? Wait till you are 35-40 when you have the money and the resources, then beat a path to doctors' doors in despair so that you can have a child! Or put your eggs in the freezer until you feel ready, and/or hire a surrogate, and/or get a sperm from a man with such and such qualities... And then, there are so many twins around and C-section births.
I'm sorry. Even the thought of these makes me shiver. The thought of the money and time and energy spent on something that nature does for free. To have a child of our “own” when there are already so many children in need of help. And to think that “we” as the Westerners are the superior who knows the “right way” to do things!
I believe, in our search and efforts for a better life, we have forgotten what life is actually about! Of course many other meanings can be attached, ascribed to life, but the basics of it is propagating the species. And in war times, it probably is much more necessary.: as people die. It's instinct. I'm not advocating that we do not consider anything else, just go ahead with our instincts, have teenage pregnancies, multiply until we ruin the planet. I'm just saying that we should think twice before throwing stones at people whose reasons we may never know as we are not in their shoes. I personally would like to interview women about this. Here I'm just guessing as I have not been in a war situation, but people in war probably want to feel there is some normalcy in their life. Sex and having children might be one of those things that make you go on.
Why should women keep their legs crossed and men keep their pants zipped just because there is a war? So you are not even supposed to have sex if there is war? “Normal” sort of people breed in the middle of a horrible civil war. War is not an excuse for life to stop. On the contrary, it causes a drive to have more life as lives are being lost.
“Surely a little self control and restraint wouldn't have been that difficult.”
Surely? Are you sure it's surely? I wonder what the war experience of the person writing this is. What sort of pyschological effect seeing so many people dying around have on somebody? Yes, you may see it as “one less suffering child” but you may also see it as “one more child that can keep the species alive” or “one more child who knows the suffering war causes and will prevent that from happening again.”
“Bringing a child into a world that was becoming increasingly dangerous was unbelievably selfish and cruel.”
Is it really? Is it selfish and cruel? Do we have the right to pass on such judgements on others? What about all our selfishnesses and cruelty? Is it selfish and cruel a teenage girl giving birth too? What about all the rest of the world having children? Do only people with means have a right to breed and can escape being targets of your judgements?
So you need to wait until you establish a standard of living and can guarantee the happiness of a child until it reaches legal age. But what is enough? Where do you draw the line? I know people whom I'd consider pretty affluent, but they still do not dare to have a child. Is it really the child they are thinking of or is it themselves? Is it not their selfishness to choose not to have a child? Isn't it because they do not want to give up on their lifestyles? Because they know they'll have to make sacrifices?
Instead of asking, or let's say before asking “Why do they keep having children?” maybe we should ask ourselves “Why do we give up on having children?” and be honest with ourselves about our real motivations and not reach out for the most acceptable discourse “The world population is exploding, we do not have the resources to look after so many people.” Actually, it's a good thing we are the ones who give up on having children as we are responsible for most of the bad footprints on this planet. The “others” that keep having children have a much lower impact.
“I understand the right to have children, but... maybe wait until you're in a living situation where you can give your kid(s) a good life, not life in a tent.”
Seriously... What's your definition of a good life? Where do you draw the line? Does life really need to be put on hold until we feel comfortable? I mean there is nothing wrong for one to put it on hold for themselves, but to dictate that others do the same too?! Is that fair?
I mean if people gave birth and expected you to look after their children, that would be another story. But these people are not looking for handouts. Really. They just want a shot at a decent life. And the funny thing is, you have this welfare system and are fine with looking after mothers who have not kept their legs crossed, or who have even spent money on assissted pregnancies to have a child. You do not question the established welfare system, why you should be looking after those children born within the same imaginary line you were born.
Who wants their child, or any child for that matter, to be born into war and conflict, to experience such traumas? Nobody in their right mind does! But that should not give us an excuse to criticize people giving birth, it should only give us more incentive to do our best to bring and keep peace on earth. To remove borders as barriers of movement not to let children suffer unnecessarily.
Some people simply do not think the way we do and see it as “God will provide for the child, for the life He gives.” They live life as it comes. They accept the life God gives, they accept the life God takes. You may not agree with it, I myself find it hard to think that way as that's not how I was raised. But I see it that there is something very profound and envious in that sort of acceptance and resignation to LIFE. Life which is greater than we can ever imagine...
"I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring." ~Liz Armbruster