Let’s Wonder at New Life, Not Kill It
Babies are great, aren’t they? There’s just so much to marvel at. The sparkle in their eyes, their easy laughter, their odd noises. That tiny human really has it made — people jump at the very sound of them to feed, clothe, or change diapers. None of life’s problems affect them, and they effortlessly melt the heart of even the most hardened of people.
Some of these thoughts struck me the other night, when joining some friends and their five children for dinner. I was excited to get to hold little John Paul (who fell asleep in my arms, thank you very much), and it was hard not to think, “Man, what a little miracle.”
And yet, such a sentiment has become rare in our culture today. It’s no longer taken for granted that the unborn get a chance at such a life. What was once universally cause for rejoicing is now seen more and more as a burden. Even if we don’t see it that way, our media insists on presenting children to us like that. What could otherwise be a great gift, even if an unexpected one, we instead often consider merely a drain on resources and potential.
It’s like we’re playing a zero-sum game with a baby. Which is just weird.
St. Augustine’s phrase incurvatus in se — being turned in on oneself — comes to mind, describing a human heart which only seeks to find joy or beauty from within itself. This inherently selfish posture is something we all struggle with to differing degrees, and our most crucial error is believing the corresponding lie that we can ourselves define what is true, good, and beautiful.
How shallow a view of the world! And, frankly, how boring.