The Propensity to Propagate

Every time I go into Wal-Mart and see the weary-looking mother dragging two or three children behind her, with one in the cart and another in the oven, I have to ask myself, “What possessed this person to propagate herself out of a life? Was it intentional, or just purely a case of negligence and indifference?

Whatever it is, it is historically consistent, and not totally a result of a particular nationality, religion, or race. Some of us simply seem to have a propensity to procreate ourselves into poverty more than others, and this becomes a bitter, disastrous cycle, which has a significant effect on the rest of us. I’ll be honest with you: in many respects I think it’s a blind selfishness – assuming someone else will pick up the tab – and I’m tired of paying more than my share.

Whether you believe that this unconstrained conjugation is a good thing or a bad thing, no one can argue that this is dramatically affecting the world as we know it, and the future of the world for those who will inherit it. We have always bred with a natural ferocity – it was a necessary part of survival when, in the past, attrition due to nature, beasts, and our fellow man, was well over 50 percent. But today, we have developed more ways to defeat numerous diseases, and the great equalizers such as plagues are no longer as much of an issue. In addition, we have gone through nearly a hundred years without a major world war. All of this sounds good. But we are basically changing the natural process. We are growing more people than we have the natural resources to accommodate.

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More than 7 billion people currently inhabit the planet, compared to only 3 billion in 1967. (Think about those numbers and that incredible growth/timeframe for just a moment.) Only 200 years ago the world population was a comfortable 1 billion. Every year about 135 million people are born and 55 million people die, adding 80 million to our global population. (Eighty million people a year!) Adding insult to injury, we have places like Africa and the Middle East, where the practice of birth control is non-existent, and the concept of “child brides” is growing with frightening momentum. Those areas have developed a process of “children making children” that diminishes not only the quality of life but the ability for certain stratums of people to advance in any fashion. The cultural practices in those countries, or the lack of cultural ethics, combined with a constant regional warfare and what seems to be an inability to grasp the basic elements of industry and enterprise, creates a new, totally dependent class in a nation that can’t take care of the people it already has. At that point, the population begins to seek asylum in other countries, taking their philosophy of propagation without logic with them. We’re seeing how well that’s working out.

At some point we have to shift the emphasis from human rights to human responsibilities – to recognize and act on the obligations we now have individually and collectively as the primary species on this planet.

One of the greatest challenges we face, is that the most significant increase in population is in the lowest economic and least educated stratums around the world (and this is significantly true in developed nations). For example, America is seeing a shrinking middle and upper class (who have a tendency to practice some degree of birth control) and a burgeoning growth in the less distinguished classes. Anyone with half a brain can see that’s a formula for disaster.

Now, I’m not necessarily promoting a forced or controlled birth rate, like China. But unless we can educate people in the practice and the value of contraception, unless we move away from the concept of a people who are taken care of by their government and increase the elements of independence and responsibility, we are going to propagate ourselves into national poverty and ecological disaster.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Michael Reisig

Michael Reisig

Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist. Be sure to check out his latest 2-part best-sellers, "Caribbean Gold - The Treasure of Tortuga and The Treasure of Time" -- "If you have enjoyed Michael Reisig’s best-selling “Road To Key West” novels, you will love his new “Caribbean Gold” series, which begins with “The Treasure of Tortuga."

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