I got a chance to reconnect with my dear friend Cato yesterday. Now, for those of you who have never heard me speak about him, Cato is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. We met at the end of 2002 (a lifetime ago) in Nepal when we were all gathered around a pit fire at Christmas time. He had just made it to Pokhara by going across the Tibetan desert on his bicycle. As we were all laughing and talking around the fire, trying to keep warm, he told me that my name means “little girl” in Spanish – granted he thought my name was La Niña instead of Lavinia. We laughed it off, but he has continued to call me “Niña” or “La Niña” for the past 16 years so I guess the name stuck. Getting back to the point though, Cato is one of those people who is completely made of light, he’s traveled across the world on his bicycle, worked and lived on pretty much every continent and is now back in Mexico building houses for families who lost their houses in a hurricane – did I say he’s inspiring?
We ended up talking about kids and how every single person out there who wants kids or doesn’t want kids should first ask themselves why. Beyond the stigma put on people who don’t want to have kids, who have too many kids, who have kids too young, too old, or whatever else doesn’t fall into the norm or “when and how” people should have kids, there is the deeper questions of why. Some people don’t believe they would make good parents, other people simply don’t like kids (or like other people’s kids, but don’t want their own), and others are willing to go through extensive challenges to have them. Yet, the questions remains…Why? Why not?
I have to admit his question took me a little by surprise as I had never given too much thought into the idea of why. I knew I wanted kids, that I’d be ok if I didn’t have them, but I didn’t have an answer to the why question. So, of course, I made an attempt to answer it, to speak from my heart and see what comes of it. Here’s what I said: “I have a lot of love and a lot of care to give to this world and I see that love and care being multiplied by the presence of a baby. I believe I would be a good mom and my value and impact as a human being would be enhanced by being a parent.”
Furthermore this got me thinking about other decisions in my life and the why behind them. How many things do we do because it’s “normal”, “expected”, because our family said so, our friends are doing it or whatever other thing. We rarely question if we want to do them or not do them, we just sort of go with the flow. And while we might reach the exact same decisions if we question the why, there is a huge difference between a decision that stands on your values and a decision that is just default.
So question everything, find your why at every step, see if your decisions are in line with your values and go from there.