But when we have families, when we have children, this gives us a purpose for being, to protect our children, to avoid going to jail because if I'm in jail, who looks after my children, who's there for my wife?
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.
I go to Malawi twice a year. It's where two of my children were adopted from, and I have a lot of projects there that I go and check up on and children who I look after. It's sort of a commitment that I've made to this country and the hundreds of thousands of children there who have been orphaned by AIDS.
As I get older, all sorts of things become less funny. Once one has children, any cruelty involving children becomes far less amusing than when one was at the mercy of one's friends' and relatives' children.
I think people need to commit to one another before they commit to bringing children into the world because that's the optimum arrangement for children, not to take anything at all away from women who have to rear their children by themselves.
Many instances exist of small children who seem to remember and describe their previous life in another body, another place, and with other people. These memories emerge usually shortly after these children begin to talk.
In the book, I write about children in first grade who were taught to read by reading want ads. They learned to write by writing job applications. Imagine what would happen if anyone tried to do that to children in a predominantly white suburban school.