Kids' contributions make them taller, shorter than supposed

Apr 9 2013 - 3:51pm



There is so much talk about how Americans no longer believe their children will be "better off" than they are. What a terrible index that is anyway. I don't care if my children are better off than I was (although they are). I was well enough off--in riches they needed to aspire no higher (although they did.)

The real question should be whether or not our children will make significant contributions to society. Everyone of my children (even the gremlins on the right wing of the plane) have already made better contributions than I have and I believe the same will be true of their children.

I don't want my children and grandchildren in poverty. But I don't want them flailing around in undeserved riches. I want a family that remains firmly middle class. India has it entirely wrong. It is the stinking rich who are the untouchables----they cannot be touched with the feeling of others' infirmities. Some of my children might be in danger of getting too rich and I pray that doesn't happen.

No one in this world gets more without someone getting less. If my grandchildren are "better off," then someone else's grandchildren are dropping into poverty. There comes a time when you've given your children enough and it's time to start caring about children who are not your own.

I'm going to boast a bit and repent later. My oldest son and his wife, after having five children themselves, and losing one right after birth, adopted a crack baby who will always be afflicted by his birth mother's addiction. They have the task of making a loving home for a son who is black and legitimately damaged by circumstances he did not create; they've faced all the challenges and are so involved in the struggle that they don't see the long, drawn out magnificence of what they are doing.

We need to stand our children up against the wall of common good before taking measure of them, because lately we've been getting it all wrong. Some of our children are taller and some are shorter than we suppose.

Douglas Donaldson




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