Having a child feels like returning some measure of innocence to the world, and this is wonderful in its way; but we are talking here about a world with an exceptionally poor track record in its dealings with innocence. Unforgivably, perhaps, I think of this much more frequently now than I ever did before deciding to bring a child — this particular child — into the world. It seemed like a remote abstraction before, but it is intimate and visceral now, as close to me as his little chest when I hold him to my own, after he has fallen and hurt himself, or woken up crying or hungry or lonely, or is just upset for any of an infinite number of reasons to be upset in this world. I wonder how I can reconcile my love for him, my responsibility, with my essentially pessimistic stance toward the world we chose to bring him into.
Mark O’Connell, “‘What a Raw Deal for the Poor Little Guy’”, The New York Times Magazine (3 August 2014), 45.