Monday, April 13, 2009

Wonderment and Wondering

Okay, so I can't get enough of the Duggars. I mean, I'm not obsessed or anything, but their family fascinates me.  I think I've watched just about all of their TLC shows (the latest of which is 18 Kids and Counting).

Yes, that's right. 18 kids. That's one humdinger of a family. And now, the oldest, not even married a year, is expecting his first. They really took the idea of a large family and ran with it.

These are good honest people who are devoted to god and family. They do what they can to help those less fortunate, and they have a kind word for everyone. These are gentle people who are raising good kids. The kind of kids that are increasingly rare in American society - polite, genuine, and willing to work for what they need. They do not tax the American welfare system; they support themselves. They do not live outside their means. 

I understand their reasonings and desires for a large family, and I admire the way they live their lives. They are truly a dying breed in today's American society. It does make me think though. There many in modern society who choose not to have children because of population density and shrinking resources. They've done a lot of thinking about this, and have decided the world would be a better place by them not having children.

It's kind of two ends of the spectrum, isn't it? The proponents of the large family versus those who think there are already too many people in the world. Obviously, if modern society chose either extreme, the world would be in trouble. We'd either have too many people crammed into a tiny planet, or we'd have the extinction of the species.

I guess as a person who often struggles with the notion of having children at all, I look at such large families with bemusement. How many resources are they using up? How many families "can't" have kids because this large family overshot their "quota"? Why does it matter that they have 18 kids? Why not have 18 kids?

Maybe this is why I keep watching. I may not necessarily agree with all of their beliefs, but I can't fault their values. They are Good People. Maybe some day I'll figure out where I land on the spectrum. 

I can pretty much guarantee it won't be close to 18 kids, though. 

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