Today, on World Population Day, the news will be filled with talk of the world’s population, projected growth rates, growth economics, and more — all focused on numbers.
Numbers are an easy way to quantify population changes. The world is on course to reach roughly 11 billion people in 2100, 4 billion more than there are today. However, numbers cannot describe or explain why a child in one part of a community does not have the same access to healthcare, education, and a safe and clean environment as another child in the same community. Numbers do not explain why the United States, which makes up 5% of the global population, uses more than 20% of the world’s energy resources. And numbers do not illustrate the current challenges families face in planning for their children with little to no support from the communities around them.
When we think about population, most of us are concerned about how increasing global population is hurting our environment, how we are not able to provide a lifestyle of luxury to all, and, generally, how there are too many people for very few resources. Having Kids wants you to think differently about population. We want you to think about parenting as a shared task, where individuals and a community come together to help future and current generations by thinking about resource distribution, redefining standards for a high quality of life, and supporting parents who are planning for their families. It’s about smaller families working together to plan a better future for every child. It’s the Having Kids Model.
Throughout history, and today, major human institutions around the world have used an old and outdated one-sided parenting model focused on parents rather than a three-sided model that includes parents, children, and the community.
There’s a big difference between the two.
The old model:
- Parents plan their families alone, without working with others and with whatever limited resources they have.
- There is no minimum standard of well-being for future children.
- There is no standard of fairness for future children — some are born poor and some are born rich.
- There is no thought given to how our family planning impacts the community or the environment.
The new model:
- Families work together to plan for and invest in the children they will have.
- Family plans include minimum standards of well-being for future children, pegged in part to the idea of a fair start in life relative to other children.
- Family plans include considerations of how to build the communities we want, and how to protect and even improve the natural environment around us.
In the months to come, Having Kids will be urging both the United States and the United Nations to abandon the old model of parenting in favor of the Having Kids model. Please join us.