"Why don't you want to have kids?"
"You can't simply write off having children!"
"What if your partner wants kids?"
A bombardment of questions would hit like hail when I reveal that I do not wish to have children. Most of these questions are, surprisingly, from male friends.
What is a parent?
My comprehension: A parent is one who nurtures a being into another, hopefully, functional being of society.
What are the roles of being a child? Hopefully, filial piety. Or so most parents hope.
We are human beings with consciousness. I hope to spare myself the need of mindless reproduction and head towards self-actualization. Forgive the crass proposal, but my idea of parenting is to pass down the consciousness of how to become a human being rather than a human doing.
I find it an ethical issue when parents assume and then, by societal standards, force their offspring to be their caretakers in future because they did their part when the child was born. If you became a parent to nurture- then you must also see yourself as a mentor.
According to Wikipedia,
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn. Mentorship experience and relationship structure affect the "amount of psychosocial support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the protégés and mentors engaged."
"You can't simply call yourself a parent if you choose to mentor!"
No, I cannot. However, I do have the desire to nurture someone, perhaps in 20 years.
Selfishly, I feel that it is more beneficial to mentor the next generation as you can choose who would be receptive, unlike children. I would be also passing them on a skill set that they would have known prior to a mentor-mentee relationship, thus there is a higher chance of gratefulness.
Then again, with such an engagement, would not the lessons I impart bring more value to another? A better equilibrium in the give-and-take continuum. The level of nurturing a being into a functional being of society is also more practical, relevant and we both roll with the punches of whatever society throws at us. Tantrums and tears would be replaced by constructive criticisms and friendly banter.
However, before I can aptly become a mentor, I would need to nurture myself before I can plant the seeds of knowledge, empathy and heightened consciousness into another.
On-going lesson number One? Mindfulness.