My Dear Young Friend:
Welcome to our world. It's unlikely that you can read this, or that you will be able to read this. You were likely born in Asia someplace on 31 Oct 2011, but the buzz about you has put aside some of the other things going on which the English-speaking world is thinking about this week, so I thought I'd drop you a line to celebrate with you.
First of all, congratulations on making it here at all. You have been born into a world where 1 child in 5 is aborted. What is fascinating about this is that, when you were mentioned by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and he brought us the fact that you are born into a world of "contradictions," he didn't mention that one child in five is aborted prior to birth -- making it 86 times more likely than maternal death in childbirth, and 240 times more likely than death by malaria. This is a morose way to welcome you here, but that you were born at all is a miracle not just because you are a unique person in the image of God, but because you had to overcome the brutality of mankind against itself to get here. At the very least, you are a credit to your parents who did not tap you out because they were too poor, or they would rather have a child of a different sex.
However, in spite of what we might charitably call his pragmatic approach to human resources, Ban Ki-moon does have one thing right: it's a strange world we live in. There are things in it which could never make any sense -- unless you state the obvious. For example, while it is true that there is "Plenty of food, but still a billion people going to bed hungry every night," most of the people starving in the world are being kept in their condition not by the greed of wealthier nations, but by their own rulers who, by and large, are despots. Africa as a continent, for example, ranks in the bottom quintile of economic and political freedom in spite of being the continental home of Egypt, Nigeria and Libya -- major exporters of petroleum -- as well as South Africa. So it may be true that there is a massive gap between the standard of living between "rich" and "poor" countries, that gap is not inflicted by anything more or less than the ability and willingness of men to rule their fellow men justly.
And that's the core story of our kind, little one: that's the obvious truth. Men are unwilling to do what they know is right. Out of the heart of man comes all sorts of evil and injustice. As someone clever once said, anyone who says differently is selling something. But to be as specific as possible, it's not just the people out there who are like this: you are like this.
"Well, what sort of a birthday greeting is that?!" you might cry out. "Where's the love for me?"
As someone who has been at this longer than you have, I hear what you're saying. We all look pretty good to ourselves. But even Science knows better than that, as it has a diagnosis for this sad and sorry state. We can see the wrong-doing of others as wrong, but we have a funny way of justifying our own choices as influenced by other things which make us either victims or even heroes. So as you come into this world, remember that you're probably not your own best judge of what's right for you.
So what to do? Is the world actually just a tragedy multiplied by 7 billion? Or is it even worse for you -- that it is a singular tragedy, and your slice is only 1/7-billionth wide, barely to be noticed?
Listen to me: if there is hope for the world (and there is), it doesn't lie inside you. In spite of every human philosophy, what changes the world is not your best effort -- because look: there haven't just already been 7 billion best efforts before you, but more like 107 billion best efforts before you, and this is all we could come up with.
No my little friend: the best hope for human kind is from outside of us.
The hope for the world, my precious young friend, is that in dying, Christ has called a people to himself, and gathered them to fulfill his promise to his friend Abraham to be a blessing to all the nations.
That's a lot to take in when you're only 2 days old, but you need to hear it -- not just today, but every day until see your need for it, and you believe it, and you cling to it as the Good News which it is.
I offer it to you in good will, for the hope of the nations.