I will never have children-1956
Mystery question: as you read this story,
guess the life principles that are expressed. My answers are at the end.
When I grow up I want to have free time and free money...
I was always puzzled by the financial situation of adults, including my parents, who seemed to have much more money than we kids, yet they worked tirelessly with little free time or extra funds. I found it all quite mysterious and knew I didn't want to end up like that when I grew up.
"No kids" was the answer
After contemplating what my parents invested their time and money in, I finally saw the answer. Kids consumed a significant amount of both their free time and money. Raising my younger sister and brother along with me was certainly not cheap.
My newfound revelation was so exhilarating that I eagerly shared it with anyone who knew my parents, mostly adults. I declared, "I will never have children." Many of them responded condescendingly with, "You may believe that now, but you'll change your mind." Luckily, my parents remained neutral and did not express any opinion regarding my declaration.
Sealing the deal: a vasectomy
Despite only having had one sexual experience at age 20 when an older woman seduced me, I wanted to ensure that I was prepared for the future. The thought of a woman claiming, "I'm pregnant with your baby," scared me, so I made the decision to undergo a vasectomy shortly after turning 25 in 1969. During my consultation with the urologist, who was aware of my unmarried status, he inquired, "How does your girlfriend feel about this?" Fearing that he would refuse the procedure if he knew the truth, I lied and assured him that she was on board with the idea.
Rather easy and fun
The urologist administered local anesthesia and, as I lay on my back, he chatted while snipping away below. I comforted myself with the thought that he must have been so skilled that it was like a car driver chatting with passengers. After the procedure, he handed me a vial containing alcohol and the small sections of vas deferens he had removed.
For about a week, I walked a bit bow-legged, but then I fully recovered. Six weeks later, I delivered a sample of my ejaculate to the doctor after masturbating. A week later, he confirmed that no spermatozoa were detected. Success!
You may be wondering "But what if you changed your mind and wanted kids later?"
I had given a lot of thought to the possibility of changing my mind about not having kids after getting a vasectomy, knowing that it was a somewhat irreversible decision. While I had already maintained this mindset for 13 years, I couldn't be certain I would always feel the same.
However, I did consider adoption or artificial insemination as alternatives. I was confident that if a future partner and I decided to have children, we could obtain sperm from a donor who may have better genetics than mine. While most men may prefer their child to be biologically related to them, it made more sense to me to give my child a better start in life by selecting superior DNA.
Best investment of my life (and it only cost $150)!
I initially got a vasectomy to avoid unintentionally impregnating a woman, and it served its purpose well (especially as I started having girlfriends in the 1970s). Moreover, it had additional benefits like making women feel more comfortable and safe when we were intimate, as well as eliminating the problems, discomforts, and costs associated with alternatives such as condoms or the pill.
Although it reduced the need for condoms to prevent unintended pregnancy, it did raise the likelihood of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection from women if we didn't choose to use a condom. Yet, since I preferred being with women who shared my interest in building a committed relationship rather than engaging in casual hookups, the chances were low. The only time I contracted an STD was when I got venereal warts, which was remedied with a single visit to the doctor.
I enjoy children so much
I derive a great deal of enjoyment from spending time with children. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I appreciate and value their company more than many parents do. However, I do have a limit - after about two hours, my enjoyment begins to wane, and I feel it's time to say goodbye. So, while I do enjoy spending time with other people's kids, it's important for me to maintain boundaries and not overextend myself.
The costs that others incurred by not thinking ahead
As I reflect on the lives of people I know, I realize that there were many instances in which a woman (and her partner) found themselves facing an unwanted pregnancy. Some opted for a safe abortion without major consequences, while others agonized over the decision. In some cases, abortion was not an acceptable option, and having the baby was chosen as the lesser of two evils. In other cases, the couple tried to make things work and start a family together, despite the challenges that came with an unexpected pregnancy. The list goes on.
A radical idea
Although I acknowledge that the following idea is unlikely to become a cultural norm and would face implementation challenges, I would like to invite you to consider its potential positive impact on people worldwide.
As a rite of passage into the freedom of sexual adulthood, each young man looked forward to undergoing the following procedure either before age 15 or before the first time they were going to have sex, whichever was earlier.
Each man's sperm would be collected and stored as long as they were alive for possible later usage, available upon request.
Each man would then undergo a vasectomy.
At anytime in the future, if and when that man was ready to have a child, he could request enough of his sperm that he could then use create a child that he along with someone else would be responsible for raising (unless he opted for being a single dad).
The impact of this upon the world
Parents would eagerly desire every child that was born, as they had made a very deliberate choice and effort to bring that child into the world.
The need for abortions would become rare.
We might even face an underpopulation problem instead of an overpopulation one.
Underlying principles that guided my actions
Although I may not have had the words to express them clearly at that time, I was operating out of these principles.
Thinking long-term over a lifetime
Getting a vasectomy was a long-term prevention measure that eliminated all risk of major unwanted consequences occurring each time I had sex with a woman, a circumstance likely to repeat itself thousands of times over my life.
I was also thinking long-term regarding creating a future life-style that would like contain more options
An attitude to mutual benefit with others
When I made the decision to have a vasectomy, my primary consideration was my own interests, but I also took into account the potential interests of any woman I might have an intimate relationship with. I realized that in most cases, the burden of an unwanted pregnancy falls disproportionately on the woman, so I wanted to do my part in preventing that.
While aware of how others might think of me, I knew that following my own heart was primary
Note that I lied to the urologist. If I had told the truth to the urologist, there was a potential for harm to both myself and him. It could have resulted in additional costs for me, such as finding another urologist, if his personal beliefs prevented him from performing the vasectomy for a man with little relationship experience. Additionally, he would have lost my business. In this case, lying ensured a win-win situation for both of us, without causing any harm.
I didn't tell my parents in advance that I was going to get a vasectomy. It actually didn't occur to me as something I should do. I informed them afterward when I was visiting with them. My mother appeared to accept it without any issue. My father, on the other hand, remained silent but gave subtle hints that he wasn't pleased with my decision.