Ted Fishman, author of Shock of Gray and China, Inc., writes that he recently asked a big audience of scientists who attended a panel on aging at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference, “How many of you expect to outlive your parents?” He says a sea of hands shot up. He then inquired, “How many of you have fewer children than your parents did?” Once again, nearly every hand shot up.
It’s no surprise that our society is aging. And yet, people continue to have fewer and fewer children. Is this going to become a problem?
Ted believes “our greatest challenge in an aging world filled with shrinking families, however, is reshaping how we, in our communities, can stay closely knit with fewer blood ties. There is a strong tendency in America to reject the public sphere. If that lasts, figuring out how we might all be each other’s family will demand all the intelligence we can muster. It is the challenge of our age.”