November 1, 2012 (Unmaskingchoice.ca) - One of the defining characteristics of our age—and our generation—seems to be that we have attained the dubious distinction of opting not to have any children. The National Post reported recently that 44.5 % of the Canadian population is “without children,” and that increasingly, having children is not seen as a lifestyle, but simply another lifestyle option. An accessory, if you will, to decorate your upscale condo in Vancouver or Toronto.
The nanny state is kept so busy caring for its eternally adolescent adult members that it even springs for the cash to allow them to dispense with their offspring in abortion clinics. This, of course, is just in case some nocturnal recreation brings a new life into the world to shatter the illusion of Generation Y’s Neverland of video game marathons and “finding themselves.”
But it gets worse. Beyond the fact that Canada is a nation in demographic decline (a nation that does not produce children or aborts the ones that are conceived is, in a very real sense, a nation without a future) many adults apparently cannot even stand children disturbing their narcissistic utopia. The National Post and a host of other media outlets have reported recently on the trend of “child-free” zones, many of them on the heels of adults who complained about the fact that children inevitably bring noise with them. Many restaurants and even some airlines are designating themselves “child-free.”
Now, I understand that being trapped on an airplane with a crying child can be frustrating and annoying. I think everyone has experienced their dinner being disturbed in a restaurant by a temper tantrum or raucous shouting. I am the oldest of five children, four of us being very close in age, so I’m sure my parents were often on the receiving end of face-melting glares from strangers as we aired our sibling rivalries in public. But here’s a news flash: That’s life. Children laugh a lot. They’re rambunctious. Sometimes they cry. So to the intolerant adults who can’t handle the presence of younger humans—dare I say it?—Grow up!
The trophy-winning poster child of this joyless “No Children Allowed” movement is a truly Grinch-like woman named Anne Langdon from Peterborough, Ontario. After years of suffering, this poor woman has now spoken to her landlords, the police, and her city councilor before finally petitioning the Ontario environmental commissioner about her neighbor’s children playing basketball in their own driveway.
Langdon was shocked that the authorities have heretofore refused to address the noise from her neighbor’s “frequent” basketball practice, and sent a letter to the family demanding that they “pay her $25,000 and stop the basketball playing or she would sue,” according to the National Post. She even claimed that she could “develop cardiovascular disease because of the stress, and that repetitious noise from a basketball can cause mental health problems,” although one suspects that in Ms. Langdon’s case, that ship has sailed.
Our aging population must realize that children are not a nuisance, they are the future. (Or did you perhaps think that robots would be caring for you when you are finally forced to retire into an assisted-care facility, with no children of your own to care for you?) It might be a wise idea to accept the fact that you do not have the right to go through life without being annoyed, and that children do have the right to laugh and play and live within the society we share with them. You, too, were once a child, and I suggest you attempt to remember that once in awhile.
And if the sound of children’s voices really grates on you that much, I suggest you buy noise-cancelling headphones and move. Or for a different perspective, eat a meal at a home full of children. Speaking from experience, it’s really quite wonderful.
Reprinted with permission from Unmaskingchoice.ca