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"It takes a village to raise a child." (African proverb)
Enlist Your Tribe - It is pretty much impossible to raise a child without tripping and stumbling constantly. It is simply impossible to parent in ones or twos and not feel frayed at the edges, if not outright exhausted. We are not supposed to raise kids on our own; we are meant to do it as part of a tribe. (Susan Stiffelman, adapted from here posted 13 April 2015, and here posted 9 April 2015, both accessed 16 April 2015)
Humans live longer to "pay for" their larger-brained children. Humans live relatively long compared to other great apes. The majority of this extended life is post-menopausal, while chimps are reproductively viable right up to their death. A human brain is three times the size of chimpanzee's. Evolutionarily, the extended lives of human grandparents are there to relieve mothers from being solely responsible for raising their big-brained, energetically costly infants. Ageing can be seen as the outward show of the stress of living long enough to lend a helping hand to your relatives.
(Adapted from BBC, posted and accessed 26 July 2011)
Having children adds almost two years to life, say scientists... a new study suggests that despite the sleepless nights, incessant worry and financial headaches which children bring, youngsters also increase longevity. In fact, fathers can expect to live nearly two years longer than childless men, while mothers gain an extra 18 months. Scientists do not believe the effect is biological, but rather the result [of] a loving support network which is crucial in later life, when, something as simple as a fall can be deadly. People with a close knit family are also generally encouraged to visit the doctor, stay active and take care of themselves by their loved ones. Previous studies have found that loneliness, or losing a partner in later life can hasten death, but it is the first large study to show that children have a protective effect.
(The Telegraph, posted 13 March 2017, accessed 18 March 2017)
When we wish to start a family, we have to make an effort to go outside ourselves, to open ourselves to another person, a husband or a wife, and later to children. But the mistake humans have made is in not understanding that they ought to have widened the family circle even further and extended their love to other creatures and to the whole universe. This is why, even with their family and friends, they are still not happy. Happiness means not stopping at one person, or two, or ten or a hundred... but loving to infinity. So, continue to love those you already love, but widen the circle of your love still further so you can have exchanges with all the higher creatures – the angels, the archangels, the heavenly hierarchies and the Lord. Then, your family and friends will be enriched, strengthened, made beautiful and purified because of all the sublime states you nourish in your heart and soul. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
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