The Thinking 
Page 1 of 11

Baby Bird

May 25, 2011


NO CREATURE expresses the naked need of the young quite like the baby bird. At this time of year, in the springtime, the nestling and his siblings create an entire subculture of anarchy, unrest and desperation. In his twiggy, secretive nest, with his beak agape, waiting for the bug or the worm to drop, he is pure ego. He is all demand. He is hunger. He is greed. He is dire poverty. He expects nothing less than constant, unequivocal, unhestitating attention.

Human parents find here a worthwhile comparison. Things could be worse. The parent bird wings back and forth to the nest, communicating strategy to his spouse and retrieving every available form of food, and there is never enough. Even when he approaches with a fat, pinned, wriggling cricket, the screeches and squawks of reproach echo through the neighborhood. “That’s all!? That’s it!?” The children scold with fury.

The parental bird is inadequate. Love is definitely not enough. He finds a few moments of rest, when the nestlings sleep against their own best interests, but that is not time to recover. The day’s expenditure of energy is never recouped. He will die exhausted, not old. If not for his will and determination to see the species live, he might have survived for 20, maybe 30 years.

Some young nestlings chirp constantly. Others pose silent and accusingly, their empty gullets pointed toward the skies. ‘See this?” they say. “This is what you did to me. Hunger. I am dying.”

Springtime brings new life and rejuvenation. For the parent bird, it is the time to give. Never pause. It is the season to prove one’s own existence is not enough.


The Tornado Wreckage

May 25, 2011




THIS IS one of many astounding and horrifying Associated Press photos, found here, of the destruction from this week’s tornados in the Midwest. This man was driving his truck when it was swept off a road in El Reno, Oklahoma. Read More »


The Right to Choose in India

May 25, 2011


THE LATEST census figures from India show there are 7.1 million fewer girls than boys under the age of six. The disparity is caused by sex-selective abortion. A new public health report about the rise of sex-selective abortion of girls in India refers to the relative affluence and education of the women having the abortions. What the news accounts fail to mention is that the phenomenon accompanies a rise in feminism in the country.

Since feminism inhibits the commitment to motherhood in general and deflects the energies and focus of women toward money-making activity, it logically follows that it makes the abortion of girls more likely in a culture in which girls are considered more costly to the family. Read More »

Page 1 of 11