$16 trillion of debt is a big number, one no one wants to own. Number 99 belongs to Wayne Gretzky; 7, to Mickey Mantle. But who would dare wear a jersey boldly emblazoned with the number of the national debt? And the annual increasing heat index, who feels and cares about the suffering as personally as Mother Earth? If it was so hot that everyone believed the Equator had moved so far north and now passed through your backyard, would you really feel bothered that the winters of yesteryear were a thing of the past?
I think I’ve invented a word: Acreation. Its definition might be similar to those of ‘amoral’ or ‘atrophy’. And it could be thought of as the antithesis to procreation. Its meaning would be to no longer create. And as it relates to the current status of our nation’s debt and our world’s Eco-system, I propose we spare our children and grandchildren these burdens by not having any children. After all, both political and media pundits continue to emphasize what a mess we’re passing on to generations to come.
It seems like a simple concept, to ‘acreate’ so as to spare the unborn a lifetime of hardship. But if that were true, those who currently have children would have made a choice for a better world for their already-existing children, unflinchingly, whatever that sacrifice might have entailed. But similar to how easy it is for us to ignore these large-scale problems, it’s just as simple to ignore the burdens those yet to be born will encounter. So we adapt.
In the movie Doctor Zhivago, Yuri the good doctor is advised to “adapt” to the social changes coming to Russia at the end of the first world war and the beginning of Bolshievism. He doesn’t. Rather than becoming a cog in the Soviet machine, he takes his wife, son and father-in-law, forsaking his occupation, and finds sanctuary in a farmhouse on the family’s isolated country estate. There, he becomes a sort of country gentlemen, writing poetry and growing vegetables. It’s a good life. But something is missing. Life and life-changing events, where people connect with other people, creating unique experiences. So, eventually, Yuri travels to the nearby town and takes a mistress.
It’s hard to have the best of both worlds – solitude and a sense of community. Each has its own set of obligations. And although I could go days, particularly during the winter, spending the entire weekend indoors, eventually I find myself venturing out for a breath of fresh air or a bite at a nearby restaurant. As always, I need to get back to what stirs the emotions and thoughts – interaction with the outside world. There’s this give and take between the hermit-me and the community-me, feeding off each other. And in the end, growth and waste join hands, further making the world what it is today and probably always will be – a perpetuation of decay.
In the end, what we all expect, in direct opposition to ‘acreation’, is ‘a creation’. From the taste of a finely-prepared meal to the gurgles of a newborn, these are the things that, for better or worse, distract the individual from a worldview involving domestic financial uncertainty and over-whelming global challenges. These are the things we can actually get both our arms and mind around.