Children? Or Clean Drinking Water for All?
Life is short, and we have problems to solve. Inventor Dean Kamen has long tried to change the world. Early on, his work helped people do dialysis at home rather than in hospitals. His most well-known invention, the Segway, was a commercial flop, but the intention was visionary--to change the way we think about personal transportation. His most ambitious project: bring pure drinking water to the entire world. The documentary SlingShot (dir. Paul Lazarus, 2014) captures Kamen's life, in which work, play, engineering and dreaming are all one and the same.
Here's what Kamen says about his decision not to have children:
"Of the many decisions I've made in my life, one that I am totally confident was the right one, was not to have children. Am I willing to devote virtually my whole life to my children? Could I do that without being resentful? I doubt it."
"Every decision you make is a set of compromises. The only thing we have a finite amount of is our time. I'm not a superman, and I couldn't be as good a parent as my parents were to me, and still do all the other things that I feel compelled to do. So, I will live with the fact that I had great parents, and I tried to do things for the world and other kids, that in some ways are a testament to what my parents did for me, but I don't need to go down that road."
"Inventions really are I think a lot like children. You make them, and generally, you're surprised by what you did. But after seventeen or twenty years they both sort of go off to the world, and never look back."
Here's the trailer: