Long ago, when populations were small, in little towns and farms across the land, food and work was plentiful. Fathers as leaders of their homes provided well for their families so wives stayed home to nurture their children and elders. Economic competition did not keep parents away from home.There was time to spend loving hours with the family. The family was the bastion of love and respect where their emotional needs were met. Since towns were small, the sick or needy had assistance of the community, for all knew each other. One's actions were watched. Crime, drugs, homelessness or misdeeds were minor as one could not hide in the crowd. The small numbers provided for this world where God and love ruled. But since there was plenty for all, and many hands were needed for the chores it was welcome to have large families.
In time, the children of these families had numerous children of too. Towns became large, competition for jobs, food and shelter grew. In order to make ends meet, women had to join the work force. Now spouses often come home emotionally and physically spent after work. The world has grown competitive and cold.For now survival of the fittest rules.
The world for the first time has to face the problem of overpopulation,such an insidious problem that we are almost unaware of its existence. The following are the symptoms that must be addressed so they can be remedied; understood but not justified. At home, because of the daily stresses, arguments erupt more often; spouses do not have enough time for themselves or their children. Divorce rate in the USA has reached about 50%. Infanticide is the number one cause of infant death in the USA, and worse in underdeveloped countries. In the USA, teenage suicide is up 112% since 1980, and higher in Japan. Competitiveness, necessary to survive is frightening many into drugs or alcohol to ease life's pressures.
Parents, teachers and society have no time to give as before. It is easier to give material objects than one's time. It is no surprise that materialism is replacing the human touch. As a result, new generations equate success and rewards in material terms. But materialism is not fulfilling the human need for love, understanding and companionship. Children and spouses craving human affection not finding it at home, seek it elsewhere. Teenage pregnancy is reaching unprecedented numbers. Sex is often experienced in search of love and as a release for stress. This phenomenon was clearly seen after the World War with the result: the Baby Boom. (see graph) Families are disintegrating. Overpopulation is destroying the very fabric that gives humans their dignity and worth.
In 1800, the world's population was 1 billion people, now: 5.8 billion.The USA had 5 million people in 1800, now its population is 266 million. These numbers are not affected by wars, AIDS,catastrophes, disease,natural deaths, nor the 45,000 infant deaths that take place daily in third world countries. In the USA, one out of every eight child goes to bed hungry, according to the Food research and Action Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
In order to subsist, farmers are over-tilling the land, and overgrazing the fields. Thousands of acres are being claimed for housing, mining, farming, destroying wildlife and plant varieties to extinction. Pollution from daily living is poisoning the fields, atmosphere and water, destroying the very essence of life. These factors are causing world's climates to change, causing floods and draughts which in turn create temperatures to rise, creating deserts at irreparable pace. If things are so noticeable now, how can we expect things to improve if we double the number of people with our limited resources and space? According to scientific figures, the planet can sustain up to 6 billion people, provided all NEW families from now on, limit the number of children to no more than one or maximum two per family. This simple act will assure the future to new generations. At the present population growth, within 40 years will reach 10 billion capacity, outstripping forever the planet's ability to continue providing us with subsistence for any more generations to go. It is because of these factors that the predictions are so alarming and serious requiring immediate action.
The threat of our very existence is not nuclear war, AIDS or drugs. Overpopulation is at the root of unemployment, hunger, crime, drugs and family disintegration. It is affecting not only the moral fiber of civilization but the planet, so profoundly that top scientists predict that if we continue at the present population growth, the planet will become uninhabitable within 100 years because mankind would strip the world of its natural supplies to irreparable levels. The devastation according to most reputable experts,will be worse than a nuclear holocaust (Harvard, Stanford et.al.) This was finally admitted by the United Nations Plenary session in Cairo in 1994.
Mankind is feeling increasingly hopeless and frustrated. It senses it had failed its divine calling. Now that we need support of our religious leaders, many homes of worship are closing in spite of the population growth. Why? Because instead of guiding us and explaining what is happing, what has gone wrong, they criticize us because some of us have had to debase one's self in order to subsist. Is it not the duty of our religious leaders to warn us of the dangers the future will bring? not letting us know these truths is a sin of omission.It is now that we need them to give us courage to change our priorities and realize that to limit one's families to no more than one or two children is an ethical act of responsibility and love.To bring a child to this world where there is not enough for its subsistence is wrong. Family planning will prevent abortions,desperate acts that scar souls. Let us not end like China who ignored its population problem until it was too late. When they had to address this problem,it was so late that they had to limit their families to only one child per family. We won't have to resort to this if we voluntarily heed the advice, while there is time. The sacrifice of limiting our families is a loving act that will assure them their future and their children's future.
If we truly love God, our children and our planet, let us work TOGETHER as a world family, transcending politics and greed so there is a world for us to live in. A world where through a clear sky they can gaze at green pastures and crystalline lakes, where the song of forest birds and perfume of wild flowers bring joy to their hearts. A world where one wants to praise GOD.
©1997 Lifewatch Group Ltd.
For further data, references and practical solutions see Wealth, Hunger and Peace