Thursday, July 22, 2010

For Jessica

Debra Ross in this week’s KOA newsletter for Rochester ended her newsletter with the following, and this is what she wrote:

"Recently, the New Yorker had a front-page piece about a study that purported to show that having children does not, on average, increase happiness. There has been a lot of debate about this since that article was published. Last night, I came across this true gem of a blog post from a writer named Jennifer Lawler. Here's part of what she has to say:

Only an academic would undertake a study like this, defining happiness as something along the lines of “satisfaction with life” and “feeling rewarded by your work.” If there’s an occupation more likely to make you feel incompetent and unrewarded than being a parent, I have never heard of it...If you weren’t an academic, you might define happiness as the experience of being fully alive. To know grace, and despair, and the kind of hardness you have to learn to stand against; to watch your family fail you when you need them the most, and have your ex-husband look around, shrug his shoulders, and hold out his hand to help you up again.

The essay is simply beautiful, and made me look at the entire question a new way."

Debra is right. This essay on a blog drew over 240 responses the last time I checked. It’s certainly worth reading. Thank you, Debra Ross, for sharing. The connection is below...

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