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How a Civilization Kills Itself, One Generation at a Time

On Monday our whole family went to Costco. We have nine kids under the age of twelve so there is almost a 100% chance that someone we don’t know will make a comment.

We stopped for lunch at the Costco food court and ordered pizza (about the best you can buy). Sitting at the table behind us was an elderly man and his daughter. He asked if all of the kids were ours and said that we didn’t have his grandparents beat.

His grandparents had twenty two children and lost four from disease. His parents had thirteen children and lost three to diphtheria. His dad was born in 1901 and only completed third grade.

This man had spent four years in the air force and had grown up during the depression with his nine siblings. He said that people today have no idea how tough things used to be. He then said that he had only had one child – he didn’t think he was educated enough to have any more. He also said that his brother had only had one child. After mentioning his father’s third grade education, thirteen children and growing up in the depression I was amazed at the contradictions in this man’s life that he couldn’t even see.

The problem is that his attitude about having children, in times far better than his ancestors, is the attitude of despair. Unfortunately, this attitude is shared by a majority of the population that doesn’t see the future as anything to bring life into. It’s generational suicide that only the hope in something beyond ourselves can cure.

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