This article was originally published in The Hill.

The fertility decline in the U.S. and around the world has prompted growing concern. Much of the focus has been on societal-level economic problems that could result from sub-replacement fertility. 

However, it is the more personal, existential cost that may be the most damaging consequence of America’s baby bust.

If we want to inspire Americans to start and grow families, we need to do a better job creating and spreading cultural messages that emphasize the fundamentals of a meaningful life.