They stand over the crib taking in their newborn baby with awe. “Ohhhh loooook,” coos mum, “he has your eyes.” Dad beams, “But thank goodness he has your nose.” Together they chuckle and bathe in the glory of this proud moment of procreation. And amidst the crowd of onlookers bearing flowers and good wishes, no one says out loud, “Wonder if he’s going to be an asshole?”
I recently found out that someone I find morally repugnant just had a baby. I was completely repulsed by the idea and even though I knew my karmic energy would suffer, I quietly apologised to the world for this man who felt the need to unleash his genes upon us all.
Okay, okay, I hear the Oliver-Twist discourse in my conscience telling me that every human being has the ability to rise above his upbringing. Sure, a child born of dysfunctional parents can lead a completely successful and upstanding life. That is the beauty of growing up, being an individual and being accountable. Even clever people like Dr Michael Wiederman (MINDing theMIND™) confirm this: “Even though we each received our genes from our parents, we are not an exact copy of either parent. Each of us is a unique combination of genes received from each parent.” Good, there is hope.
No, I’m not convinced. What if ‘assholeness’ sticks to your genes like superglue in the cracks of a porcelain jar? What if a person cannot escape ugliness in his mum or dad’s personality? What if the disgusting, cheating, lying, cruel, immature, disrespectful DNA threads get so deeply entangled in your makeup that they are perpetuated for generations to come?
I’m afraid this is where we have to look to the proverbial ‘village’ that it supposedly takes to raise the child. Village…it is up to us. When yet another asshole emerges from yet another womb, we must do our best to make sure we lead by example. This means that we, ourselves, must stop being nasty pieces of human specimen. We must be beautiful and strong and generous and caring and full of integrity. We must neatly tear pages out of the Tiger Mom’s book. And we must work hard at making sure that the future assholes unlearn their genetic bad lessons.
This means brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, godmothers, friends, teachers and colleagues all have a role to play. We each have to stand at the door between childhood and adolescence and beat ‘assholeness’ off with the talking stick. The world is overpopulated. If this is what it takes to make sure that there are fewer assholes on earth, then so be it.
Until such time bad people have to take rigorous tests determining their decentness; until such time gynaes stamp forms with big black letters saying: “NOT QUALIFIED TO PROCREATE”; until scientists figure out a way to provide us with some Panados for headache-causing genes…it is up to each of us to nurture the unfortunate little ones. And it is up to the unfortunate little ones to realise that this life is long and intriguing and blessed with millions of tiny, well-lit passages of opportunity to be good men and women.
So, sleep well little asshole.