Okay, I like to think I have a “live and let live” sort of philosophy. I’m not enamored of telling people what to do and how to live their lives, and I’m not one to advocate the government coming in and making decisions for us as individual citizens. For example, I’ve been watching with interest this law to ban smoking in your own car if there are children under 18 in the car with you–window down or up, doesn’t matter. I see why the law is in place, presumably to protect the children from second hand smoke, and I see why some people find this a bit too intrusive, too much micro-management, too Big Government. Whatever, I shrug, doesn’t really affect me. See how ambivalent I am? Isn’t that nice? And so very “live and let live,” no?
I was just reading this story, however, that makes me wonder. Apparently, a 67 year old woman lied and said she was 55, so she could have infertility treatments; she has since given birth to twins, thus earning her the title of world’s oldest first time mother. So far, so good. Whatever, I shrug, her life. But then, as I’m reading the story, I become more and more uneasy. It turns out that this woman has lived her whole life with her mother tucked away somewhere in Spain; anyway, her mother died (sadly, and I’m sure at an advanced age) in 2005, leaving her all alone for the first time in her life. Soon after, our about to be brand new world’s oldest first time mother decides that it’s time for her to have children and off she goes to LA to begin her treatments.
My concern is for the children she’s brought into this world because she seems to have done so not out of a desire to have children (and to fulfill her role as a woman and express her maternal love, while raising them to fine upstanding contributing members of society, blah blah blah) but out of a desire not to be alone. Or perhaps it’s a knee jerk reaction founded in grief? I don’t know. It is worrying.
But then, that little voice in my head (um, my conscience, I mean, I’ve not got those other voices . . . yet. As I was saying, then, that little voice in my head) says, but what about the real problems in the world? What about the children who are dying of starvation, AIDS, and genocide in Africa? What about the children who are dying of starvation and AIDS right here at home? For that matter, what about the war in Iraq? Or the poverty that plagues people in every country in the world, including my own? What about all the people who still die from diseases they needn’t simply because they don’t have medicines (read: money)? And this lonely, perhaps slightly unstable geriatric new mom becomes unimportant, and I shrug in the face of the vastness of all of our difficulties, and think, “live and let live.” That’s so much easier, isn’t it, than actually dealing with the enormity of the problems that face us?