Status update

On Parenthood…

Had to drop by a bank branch today because my wife needed to have her online banking activated. This can be done via an ATM.

I joined a queue and before me was a father and his son. One guy (Guy 2) just finished with the ATM and it turns out he is a workmate of the guy in front of me (Guy 1).

Guy 1 sheepishly asked Guy 2, “Sir, meron na?”

Guy 2 replied “Wala pa sir. Ung service charge lang namin ang naipasok.”

After hearing that, Guy 1 with his son left the queue with a sad look on his face. I was thinking, perhaps he was supposed to treat his son today but had to cancel that because of the delayed pay.

I know how Guy 1 was feeling because I’ve been there. In fairness to the fast food service I worked for before, there ATM payment was always on time. But my first boss as a virtual assistant, he was the master of delay. There were times before where my payments would take two weeks to be “processed” via PayPal.

My boss then was actually a middleman. He was the one who gets clients for us, he receives payment from the client, gets his cut, and then he gives us his cut. But for some reason, it always took him a loooong time to pay us. At that time I was helpless because I was new to the game and had to put up with my boss and so there will be times where I am literally with nothing.

I remember there was a time when we had to borrow noodles and “tuyo” from the nearest sari-sari store because we simply had nothing to eat. That was a stormy day that day too.

I guess that was the final straw that broke the camel’s back because I said “fuck it, I’m just going to get my own client!” And the rest was history.

Anyway, sorry for the adlib. Going back to the point I want to make in this short story. So, after that I went out of the bank and I proceeded to go to our local court because I also needed to follow up on something. On my way, I saw a man carrying his child. His child was about a year old. The man was skin and bones, with deep eyes, ragged clothes, and an overall messy appearance. He was wearing his child using what was perhaps a blanket. His child was crying. The man was also holding a cup which he reached out to people as he begged for alms. It was a pity scene but it was never my style to give money to beggars. I am actually against it.

That scene got me into some thinking. Why do people give birth if they can’t handle it?

I am not saying that less fortunate people should not give birth. What I am saying is, if you can’t even feed yourself well, do not even think of having a child because just think of the welfare of the child.

To some this is harsh, but to me, it’s simply being pragmatic.

The sight of that one year old crying is forever impressed in my mind. It’s like an indelible ink. The child was obviously hungry and undernourished. It made me think of my child. I could not imagine neglecting my child like that. Now I know some of you might say “you do not even know the entire story of that man” – well, it’s true, that man might have been in better times when his child was born and that they unfortunately ran into a series of misfortunes but still, looking at things in general, the principle that you should not even think of starting a family if you can’t afford it still applies.

I mean, really, why bring a life into this world knowing that you can’t nurture it properly? Aren’t you just causing more suffering by doing that? Now I know people will throw the “happiness” argument; that if that’s what makes you happy, then go ahead and have a child. But that reasoning is way out of line. You’re being selfish if you say that. You’re just thinking of your happiness not the welfare of the child. Because if you ask me, nobody wants to be born into this world poor.

My point is, if you want to be a parent, please make sure that you are ready to support a life other than yours.

I am not also saying that only rich people should have children. That is stupid. A lot of rich people do ignore their child too.

What I am saying is, being a parent is a responsibility. One should think first before having a child regardless of your status in life. Having a child is one of the most life changing events a person can have. It’s not just a spur-of-the-moment thing. A lot of people are too impulsive when it comes to sex that they do not fully realize the consequences.

Some people say that we should have so and so education to teach people about responsible parenthood. I am okay with that. But to my mind, things like this should be simple. You do not need to be educated about it. It is common sense. If you can’t handle it, then don’t.