May 9, 2013
After two weeks of roaming the streets of Israel, there are a number of lasting impressions Anne and I had. One of them for sure is the abundance of children we witnessed everywhere we went. The birth rate in Israel is around 3.5, which puts it far ahead of much of the world – especially in the West where the birthrate continues to drop. It was also a great joy while there to Skype with our son and his precious wife and hear she is pregnant! Go Marina!
One of the reasons the birth rate continues to drop in the West is because of the erroneous idea that the world is being over populated and it is going to explode if we don’t exercise some restraint. On March 1st, the L.A. Times reported, “Nearly two-thirds of American voters believe that human population growth is driving other animal species to extinction and that if the situation gets worse, society has a “moral responsibility to address the problem,” according to a new national public opinion poll.
An unexpected delight we had while walking through an alleyway in the Old City was bumping into a Chinese film crew from Hong Kong – filming some kind of a Chinese thriller. We were able to converse with them in Cantonese for a bit,…. Something we never expected to do in Israel. They were fortunate they were even born. Had the ladies on that team been conceived in China they probably would have been aborted. For many years China through coercion, punishment, fines and social shame has sought to enforce their one child policy. The societal problems this policy has produced are profound. One such problem is what some are calling the “Little Emperor Syndrome.” The idea is that because most families only have one boy, that one little boy is being constantly doted on by his parents and two sets of grandparents. They are being spoiled rotten. And not only that, they are under tremendous pressure to succeed educationally and materially, so they can provide and care for their parents – since there are no siblings to share that responsibility with. Recently the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Political Conference suggested the government scrap its one-child policy, citing “social problems and personality disorders” in young people.
When our seventh billionth baby was born a couple of years ago, population control folks freaked out big time. But there are many groups out there studying world population such as “The Institute for Applied Systems Analysis” along with the Pew Research Center and Arizona University. They have all found that statistics show our world population is heading downward, not upward. The 7 billion mark took a lot longer to hit than the 6 billion mark. Western Europe will most likely shrink from 460 million to just 350 million by 2100. The same studies predict that Russian and Chinese populations could shrink by half, by that time. Google “Japan’s shrinking population” and you will find significant handwringing over what the implications of all this is on their aging population.
So what’s the point? Well in light of Mother’s day this Sunday I just want to applaud all of you mothers out there that have obeyed the Lord and had multiple babies. And for any of you that are holding back, I hope you will reconsider. The world is not going to explode. But it may implode if we do not turn this dangerous trend around. Happy Mother’s Day!