TUESDAY, 11 JANUARY 2005
[train to Kaohsiung ± 08:45]
The newspaper says Taiwanese men are not so keen to produce offspring than Taiwanese women.
I know the following thought is rushed, and certainly not currently supportable by scientific study, but … my guess is that the lack of keenness amongst men to have children is caused by the same phenomenon that causes eagerness in some women: in both cases the childless person feels like a failure.
Men are wary of the extra responsibility, the extra pressure on already thin resources (namely, themselves) and are afraid that a child (or more children) will accentuate their failure, or that it will worsen their current status because not only will they be failures as adult men or husbands, but also as father figures.
Some women, on the other hand, also feel like failures, and/but see the role of “mother” as one that would make them appear better to themselves, their families and to the broader community.
Arguments about “good” and “bad”, the attribution of guilt and responsibility, and the concomitant characterisation of “agents” of Good and Evil bite the dust in many cases due to one thing: nobody is 100% good or 100% bad. The moment the greyness of truth is overlooked is the moment the ground gets slippery.
* * *
The “truths” to which many people commit their lives, with which they identify themselves and according to which they lead their lives can all be traced back to so-called awakenings, or epiphanies that individuals had experienced.
Examples: One God, reincarnation, Ying/Yang, the Five Elements, the Eternal Soul …
You must keep believing. You must continue to believe that people can change, that they can be transformed into people who do good rather than bad, who can clean up rather than pollute, who can build rather than destroy. If you stop believing this … what do you have? What are you? And what are the alternatives, anyway?