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Is having kids the one behavior that most influences our lives?

Most parents will tell you that it is. Even if you haven’t had kids, it’s easy to imagine why they would have a huge impact: they change our day-to-day routines and the structure of our love and relationships. But there’s something else going on, another level up, when we think about this question. Chances are that when you, the reader, think about how kids affect our lives, you think about the impacts on what appear to be our personal lives, at home. But the truth is that having kids is probably the one behavior that most influences our lives in the world as a whole—and determines what the world around us is like.

Take a look at this shocking video, which shows how people having kids has defined the world we live in today. And not all of the influence is good.

According to Slate, The Global Footprint Network estimates that our global civilization currently uses 1.6 times the resources our planet generates. In other words, it takes 18 months to regenerate the resources we use in one year’s time. Add another 4 billion people (which we are currently on course to do!) to the mix, and we’re likely to be looking at a whole other planet.

How do we respond to this challenge? The answer may lie in how we think about having kids. As shown above, we might default to thinking about the act of having kids as personal. And that’s perfectly consistent with a universally ingrained one-sided model of thinking about having kids that focuses on and isolates parents.

What’s the alternative? The Having Kids model, which is designed to let parents think globally about the act of having kids and to work together with other people to make all children’s futures the best they can be. The model is about using the excess that goes into creating large families to instead raise the standard of entry into the world for every child.

So if you want to change the world, watch the video to learn where to start: at the source. Then adopt the Having Kids model. If we work together, we can change the world for everyone.

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