[Opinion] Not having children is the biggest mistake you could make

When I was at Seoul National University, my finance professor tended to mix life lessons into his teachings. Some of them have stuck with me to this day; for example, he would say that beer always taste the best the day before a lecture. Based on my personal experience, I can confidently say that this is definitely true. He also said that the most important capital investment of your life is your partner. Given that you go through most of your life with your partner, I cannot disagree with this statement. If I had to condense the life wisdom I have gained during my life it would be this: Not having children is the biggest mistake you can make.

South Korea is repeatedly beating its own record year after year when it comes to low birth rates. Some of the latest figures you can find cited online are as low as 0.72 births per woman, according to the BBC. This is far from the 2.1 that promotes a steady population. To put this in perspective, at the current rate there will be less than six great grandchildren for every 100 Koreans today. Although it is hard to ignore this major societal issue, my opinion on having children comes from a purely selfish place to achieve happiness in life.

Having a child has been an unmatched experience in my life, it has opened my eyes to another level of love and bonding. This does not only apply to the relationship with my child but also to my wife and to my parents. The fact is that I could never have accessed this level of love and bonding without having a child. This also means I could never understand what it means and feels to have a child without having a child.

I have observed that many people show hesitance to having children and come up with a myriad of reasons for why they should not. They believe it comes with many changes to their life and with increased expenses. This is all true, however, once you have a child your complete perspective on life changes. Having a child is less of a disruption but more like an evolution. Your own priorities shift, and you will find yourself wanting to spend the weekend with your family rather than drinking with your friends. It ends up being a paradoxical situation; people without children need to consider if they should have children or not but without the ability to understand what it means to have children until they do.

This is why, I want to tell all these people: Yes, you should have children, through whatever means that are available today, and it would be a big mistake if you did not. To truly live life is to have children, that I can say with complete confidence.

The author is a former Editor-in-Chief at The SNU Quill and currently works as a Project Manager at TWS Partners. –Ed.