Nigeria, Faith, UNFPA, UNDP & NPC: Should the Poor Have Children?

By Nneka Okumazie

Everyone, or almost all, loves to say what the poor can or cannot do. The problems of the world are sometimes blamed on the poor having children.

When poor families are in need, the excuse against compassion – and guilt – is to say: why would they have children they can’t afford?

The poor are already short of resources, controlled by powerful people, who always want more power.

Children come into an imperfect world. Most parents are sometimes ready to go to any length or to the disadvantage of anyone else, to benefit their kids.

Children grow up to understand that worth and what they control makes life easier. But life is uncertain and unpredictable for anyone, rich or not, educated or not, young, old, etc.

There are diseases that no amount of money can cure. There are problems – currently – without solution no matter what education anyone in the world has. There are addictions that destroy lives regardless of location or status. There are mind and behaviour stamps that can happen to anyone no matter the economic class. There are risks in life beyond anyone’s control.

There’ve been people from poor backgrounds who went on to succeed or solve great problems. There’ve also been people from wealthy backgrounds who did same. Outside resources, there are some other major markers for success in life.

Yes, there is data for intergenerational economic mobility, showing that those born poor, almost always stay poor, but some people break poverty in legitimate ways.

The problems in the world are bigger commonalities than population crisis. There was greed a century ago, there’s still greed now. There was hate a half century ago and there’s a lot of hate now. There was deceit, wickedness, evil, unknown intentions, envy, pride, strife, theft, lust, etc. years ago till date.

In a small association, there can be infighting, disagreements, malice, etc. In a big group too, same.

It is true that smaller population can reduce pressure on public facilities, and also open more opportunities, but there is no guarantee that if a small population doesn’t work hard to do better, make changes and grow, it wouldn’t lack resources or fall backwards.

Any society needs fierce passion for great change. Any society needs extraordinary hard work for great solutions. Any society needs fairness, equal opportunity, supremacy of the law and safety.

The drowning of a society may not be directly proportional to population growth. There are bigger factors – often.

The world has so many problems that need great ideas. The population of the world is an opportunity for great ideas for important solutions.

It is not to be among those who keep discrediting ideas, saying they are a dime a dozen, or ideas are cheap, or ideas are worthless

Serious centres need to have systems to get great ideas and develop them, so that people’s unique lives, perspectives and insights can be tested and tuned in for solutions to the problems of the world – in relevant ways.

Generally, it is better to have a campaign for the poor to understand why to have, how to [maybe] rear and what to dream, for kids, than to keep telling them what number to have or not to have kids at all.

There are resources in the world, but no solution to many global problems. So rich or poor, some solutions are beyond means.

There is a bigger problem of unfairness in the world, envy and domination of others that prevents some really great thoughts to get at unemployment, bad public health, conflict, income, energy solutions, etc.

It is so hard to hear people who don’t have anything else to say than blaming the poor and helpless for the failures of society.

People blame the Christian faith for encouraging people to have children, saying Christianity is not logical, etc. But logic they all claim is flawed. God is a spirit. Genuine Christianity is faith in God, not logic.

[2 Kings 4:16, And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, [thou] man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.]

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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