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        for the children
gary e. davis
November 17, 2007

In “America,” as land of voluntary emigrants, I’ve been deeply impressed by the orientation of new immigrants to sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of their children’s future. Though this can become a complex burden for the children, the ethic is also carried forth by those well-off children for the sake of their children (though, in a lesser degree, I suppose). I presume that the emigrants are just those who do have such an ethic (not generalized back home?), so it probably says something about the interest in emigration, rather than the native culture.

But it also says something about possible humanity. Many native-born folks everywhere—America, Europe, Asia, Africa—are ambitious to make a better world for their children. What distinguishes such persons? What distinguishes the ambitious who work so much for the future of the children (especially others’ children, among the philanthropic sort) and the ambitious who work so much for themselves?

You know, national debt belongs to the children to pay off. Deficit spending, when chronic, is a loan taken by the state from the unborn. The standard rationale, I guess, is that the expense is an investment in the present that will generate future peace and prosperity for those children who will have no trouble paying their heir’s bills, due to the increased productivity for which the children should feel grateful. Do you feel a bit nauseous toward the absurd vanity of that?

The early-stage builders of medieval cathedrals knew they wouldn’t see the glorious result in their lifetime. Was it a faith that they would literally witness the result from some Heaven that let them devote their lives to future grandeur?

Yes, the children will inherit the Earth, one way or another. And the saints go marching on, largely unrecalled.

a legacy of humanism


    Be fair. © 2014, g. e. davis.