While all of you are out there giving thanks for your wonderful children, please pause for a moment to remember those unfortunate souls who are struggling with their own selfishness:
Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.Yes, friends, lest you think that your devotion to your children has taught you selflessness and the meaning of sacrifice at times, you have totally missed the point. Having children is totally selfish, something in which no "enlightened" woman would indulge:
But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.
Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.
While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.
"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.
"Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population."
The whole idea is so important that not only should you avoid conceiving, you should eliminate the possibility altogether. And should there be any "disasters", you must kill the baby...it's the unselfish thing to do.
Toni was happy, at last, with fellow environmentalists who shared her philosophy. But when she was 25, disaster struck.
"I discovered that despite taking the Pill, I'd accidentally fallen pregnant by my boyfriend.
"I was horrified. I knew straight away there was no option of having the baby.
"I went to my doctor about having a termination, and asked if I could be sterilised at the same time.
"This time it was a male doctor. I remember saying to him: 'I want to make sure this never happens again.' "
Now I'm the one shuddering in horror. Of course I'm no stranger to the hysteria about overpopulation...the ZPG movement had its heyday in my generation. But the thought of killing a baby to save the planet is something I can't get my head around...for whom are we saving it?
And how completely do you have to suspend reality and reason to say that murdering a child is the most unselfish thing you can do?
I couldn't help but be reminded of the warning in the book of Isaiah...
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20 (NIV)
How sad it is that man's reasoning gives a higher priority to an imaginary "carbon footprint" than to the precious footprint of a newborn on a birth certificate...
And now if you'll excuse me, I must get up from here and go work on lesson plans and a grocery list for the multiple evidences of my unenlightened selfishness. You can go read more about your own SQ (Selfishness Quotient) here.