Every day in every way the world is getting better and better. Yeah right.
Well why isn’t it? Every day there’s a whole new batch of young adults just chafing at the bit to change the world. What happens?
They become parents.
So first, there’s the matter of money. Nutritious food and a constant supply of clothing that fits cost money. Leaving little for the revolution.
Then there’s the matter of time. To get the money, you need to work. So that pretty much makes the day a write-off. And much of the evening is taken up with parenting. It’s nine o’clock: do you have time to change the world – before you go to bed?
Better question: do you have the energy to change the world? Getting up at six or seven, hustling the kids and yourself to daycare, school, and work, putting in eight hours that is, no doubt, laced with at least a little stress, making your way home, perhaps detouring to pick up a kid or two, making supper for several people, doing the dishes, then slogging through a bunch of chores like washing everyone’s clothes, or cleaning the house or apartment a little, or preparing lunches, all the while spending quality time with the kids – it’s nine o’clock: do you know where your bed is?
But more significant than any of that is this: parents don’t take risks. You can’t afford to get fired – so you don’t stand up at work. You can’t afford to go to jail – so you don’t stand up anywhere else. You’re responsible for your kids, they depend on you, you have obligations to them – to be there and to provide them with what they need. You can’t afford to be reckless anymore; you become cautious – about everything.
Because you love them so much – if anything should ever happen to them – So you don’t make enemies – at least, none that really count. Love holds you hostage, it makes you vulnerable; it makes you – oh, the horror – conservative.
And that’s why young radicals become middle-aged sell-outs overnight: they have kids.
And parents don’t change the world.
(They hope their kids will.)
(But, of course, their kids will grow up and become