While watching "Walking With Cavemen" on the Discovery Channel last week, I began to think about reproduction, evolution, and higher reasoning. And I thought of this group. Is it "natural" for us not to want children? What makes us different from the overwhelming majority in this world? And how can we fight this thing called the "Biological Clock"?
I'm not a scientist, but I know that the "natural" desire to reproduce at its most basic level is to propagate our species. As a collective group, we don't want to go extinct. To help us along, Mother Nature made sex pleasurable, to ensure that we at least TRY to breed. That is how our brains are wired.
Animals engage in sexual activity because of their instinct to do so. That is why it is up to us to spay and neuter our pets. Poor Rover doesn't understand the indecency of jumping the fence and getting busy with the neighbor's poodle. And he pretty much has a one-track mind about it. But humans – well, we have the ability to choose our partner, consider the consequences of our actions, and decide our future for ourselves.
That’s called higher reasoning. It's the same inquisitive drive that led our predecessors to start making simple hand tools to assist them with their work, which was basic survival most of the time. We have the luxury of thinking ahead, choosing our future, and mapping out a plan for our own fulfillment.
The conflict between our bodies and our brains is complex. But there is great power in "mind over matter." Even if you have decided the child-free lifestyle is for you, strange feelings may still surface from time to time, especially when someone close to you has a baby. Mother Nature is trying to convince you to reproduce.
But you aren't the helpless poodle next door – you are an individual who has decided your own fate! And if "higher reasoning" is a gift unique to humankind, then nothing is more natural than deciding for yourself that children just aren't for you.
So do you hear ticking? I sure don't!