So I was reading this complete train wreck of a post on reddit:
And it got me thinking about what the basic criteria are for success in life.
My first-pass answer in a very basic, biological frame is to leave the species better off than it was before.
For basic animals that means propagating your genes, but we are a bit more advanced than that. We need not only adult humans to carry on, but we also need those adults to be well-functioning. On top of that, we need better ideas, better cultures, better inventions to help us into the future.
So while Nikola Tesla didn’t have any children, he did leave behind a body of scientific work that has helped humanity progress.
But having adult and nearly-adult children who can’t put on their own socks makes you a literal failure as a human being.