Of Grasshoppers and Children

Of Grasshoppers and Children

Grasshopper and AntMaddie Gillel

There’s a great story in children’s literature about a grasshopper who loves to play his fiddle and dance the whole summer away while watching the busy little ants harvesting everything in sight so that they will have the necessities throughout the coming winter.  Alas, winter arrives and the poor grasshopper is shivering with cold and hunger.  He knocks on the door of the ant colony and they graciously let him in and nourish him throughout the winter.  We are left to wonder if the grasshopper learned his lesson and next spring, summer and fall will follow the ants’ example and store provisions for himself, or will he start all over with the singing and dancing all summer long.

Winter will arrive, whether we are ready for it or not. How do we apply this message to our own lives, to our own culture, to our own families?

Many in the world believe that the way their life is now is how it will always be.  They don’t believe that age will happen to them, that the day will come when they must retire, that the day will come when what was once so important to them, will not matter at all.  We will reap what we have sown – whether they be seeds of loneliness, poor health and a short life, bankruptcy – or at least not enough to sustain themselves,  feelings of emptiness and loss with the accompanying feelings of not being needed.

One of the most important seeds we should plant in our garden of life, is a family – not of children out of wedlock, but one of marriage between a man and a woman, who welcome children into their home.

In an editorial in the local newspaper, the author states the following:. .

“. . .when a wife and husband decide to bring children into the world, they make an enormous investment in the prosperity of our nation and embark on an unparalleled opportunity to refine their own characters. 

The psychologist Erik Erikson posited that a vital stage of adult psychological development was mature contribution to the next generation.  Intentional parenthood is the single best way for adults to develop these traits and protect themselves against destructive self-absorption.

Our society seeks real solutions for its long-term economic woes and its decay in civic-mindedness.  Few choices offer as much empirically grounded hope for those specific concerns as the decision of committed spouses to bring children into the world.

 The grasshoppers of the world are happy to sing and dance and avoid real responsibility in their lives.  The ants know that winter is coming and they are ‘wise’ and prepare for it.

 

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