If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
Because children see parents as authority figures and gods, they think that the way you treat them is the way they deserve to be treated: “What you say about me is what I am” is a literal truth to your child. Consequently, when children are treated with respect, they conclude that they deserve respect and hence develop self-respect.
When all is said and done, the act of being a parent involves a set of radically unselfish and often incomprehensibly inconvenient activities. Two adults who could otherwise employ their time and resources in pleasurable activities of various kinds elect to seek housing and provide food and other facilities for completely dependent organisms whose personal schedules, furthermore, could not be at greater variance with adult ones, and who will involve their parents literally for decades in a compromise between a program of work or pleasure and the requirements of their offspring. It is not altogether remarkable that parents may have one child, if only in error or because of confused expectations of bliss. What is truly remarkable is that most parents have more than one child.
History fades into fable, fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy, the inscription molders from the tablet, the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids — what are they but heaps of sand, and their epitaphs but characters written in the dust?