Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Without Children there is no Future"

How many folks it takes to be a "large" family varies. My father spoke of my "large" family: which was accurate, from his point of view. My wife and I have four surviving children.

As an only child, I had a steep learning curve as our family started growing. My wife was the second of seven children, thankfully. And that's another topic.

Size, and Points of View

By American standards, my wife and our four kids form a "large" family.

In 2010, the average married-couple household in America numbered 3.25 people.1 That's not an average of three and a quarter kids. That's an average of three and quarter total. Family size has been decreasing in America, ever since the '60s and the end of the post-WWII baby boom.2 Which is why the 'population bomb' fizzled, and that's almost another topic.

That '3.25 people' is a national average. Not all communities are exactly on the 50th percentile.

Take the parish where we worship, for example. A family with seven children often sits in front of me at Mass. That's not, by local standards, an unusually large family. In some parts of the country, I've gathered that they'd look like a walking population explosion to the locals.

So much depends on a person's point of view.

Optimism?! How Counter-Cultural!

America's perennial End-Times prophecies, and succession of secular scaremongers, can give the impression that America is a nation of doomsayers. Or at least that 'decent' folks don't expect the world to last much longer.

Judging from the number of above-average-size families around here, quite a few of us don't seem to have gotten the memo.

Here's what got me started on today's post:
"Big Families Are Sign of Optimism, Says Pontiff"
Calls for Legislation to Safeguard and Support Them
ZENIT (February 16, 2012)

"Benedict XVI on Wednesday offered words of encouragement for families with many children.

"At the end of the general audience, he greeted representatives of the National Association of Large Families.

" 'In today's social context, families with many children are a witness of faith, of courage and of optimism, for without children there is no future,' he said...."

Courage, Optimism, and Manure

One of the reasons I don't buy into the latest fads in calamitous prognostications is that I've got a pretty good memory: and I've read about what happened before I was born:
  • London wasn't buried under mountains of manure
  • Global warming replaced the coming ice age as a bogey man
  • Now we're supposed to be scared because the climate changes
    • What, we're supposed to be living in a static, unchanging, ever-constant world?
Still more topics.

I've been over this sort of thing before. (October 3, 2009) Fairly often. (Apathetic Lemming of the North (December 30, 2010))

I don't think things will get better without effort. We've got work to do, if today's children are going to prosper: or survive, in some cases. But I'm pretty sure that we can make things better: and we will, with God's help.

Related posts:

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.