JANEK MÄGGI: I DON'T NEED CHILDREN OR THE STATE. I CAN DIE ON THE STREET
Raivo Hein is a good man – he doesn’t want to be a burden to his children. I don’t rely on the state either, because I don’t want to be a burden to my country, writes Janek Mäggi, public relations specialist and former Minister of Public Administration.
I’m ready to die as soon as no one needs me anymore. I’ve made my will. A long time ago. My mother told me to. But as long as there’s still one person left who isn’t bothered by my breathing, I won’t sign out. I’ll breathe for as long as I can.
However, I believe that a family must take care of all its members, just as a state must take care of all its citizens – without solidarity, neither a family nor a state would work. Unless we want to see the poor in spirit and the weak in flesh dying in agony in the streets. Because they couldn’t be successful enough as investors. Or mentally healthy enough.
It’s a completely false assumption that all people are capable of earning enough money to live on for the rest of their lives during their youth or middle age. But they may be able to breed, which I guess they can’t be banned from doing.
They may have children, many of them, whom they’ve somehow raised or who have grown up by themselves. And then these kids can have fun and party hard, it doesn't matter where the old man or lady kicks the bucket? No. We’re not responsible for our children and parents alone, we’re responsible for society as a whole. Or are there people who dare to refuse to pay social tax?
Costs to society, income to heirs?
We also have obligations to our sisters and brothers – to the extended family. It’s obviously right that the entirety of society doesn’t have to pay for the misfortunes of the unlucky ones and the heirs scratch each other’s eyes out to get their hands on the inheritance, but the family and the state both do its part. So it’s not just the birth that’s a tolerable event, but also the end of one’s life – dignified and respectful of life’s work.
I asked my two children (for this story) if they would be prepared to look after me if I couldn’t manage on my own? They saw it as something natural. The third one wasn’t there, but the answer would’ve probably been the same.
I don’t believe that they’re obliged to support me, but I supported my parents until both of them died. My dad left us in 2003, my mum in 2016. The transition period turned their lives upside down. Dad’s illness did the same to mum’s life for quite a few years. I didn’t have children so that someone would take care of me. But I still hope they won’t abandon me. They’re a gift. The most exciting part of my life.
Anyone can become Schumacher
I don’t pay taxes to get something from the state. I don’t count on my children or the state. I don’t count on myself either. Because none of us can foresee the future, or outsmart it. Your fate may be like Konstantin Päts’s or Michael Schumacher’s. As the Old Testament says: if God allows, I will go to this city or that city. If He allows. He doesn’t always allow. He doesn’t allow everyone.
Those whose legs are too weak to support them lean against a pillar. But there are many of those whose legs don’t allow them to stand up, even when supported by a pillar. There are some who have no legs at all. They may be very wealthy, like Schumacher, but they cannot even say how or why.
As the guardian of my brother, I say that a family must stick together. All kinds of screams: I can cope on my own, or everyone must cope on their own, may have a sobering effect, but life is not a sporting competition where everyone who runs fast enough gets a gold medal. Some don’t even make it to the track. They cannot be left to die by the side of the track. If they’ve managed to crawl there.
I don’t know what my fate will be like. But I’m very happy that life has given me three children who also know that if I go before my brother does, they will have to look after him when I’m gone. And they’ve promised me that they’ll do it. The state has helped me to help my brother and will help them as well. You need a family. You need the state. The state is family.