One of those strange events in life is on the horizon… a baby will be born somewhere and without anyone knowing it, they will become the 7 billionth member of our collective family.
If you told that to a child, they’d expect some big party for the new tiny member of our family. They’d probably envision balloons and cake or perhaps dancing and singing. But, no; this child will instead enter the world without any special fanfare or cheering. In fact, most of us won’t even know who they are. The only real thing that can be guaranteed is that a woman will give birth in order for it to happen.
Beyond that, there is nothing that even assures that this baby will be welcomed with open arms into its own family, nor healthy, nor destined to be a world leader or cure cancer. When all’s said and done, it will be another baby with the same potential as the others.
But for us, it will also be another chance. You see, this child will be another chance for us to get it right. Although this tiny boy or girl might be born on the other side of the world, you are connected to their happiness and success in life. If it’s a girl child who will face discrimination, genital mutilation or other abuses during her lifetime because we didn’t act to ensure human rights; are we not partly to blame? If it is a boy who will grow up watching his mother struggle to provide even the most basic needs for him or if he grows up without the most basic rights; are we not partially to blame?
At the end of the day though, this little one is no more or less precious than all of the other babies which will be born before or after her. Being the 7 billionth doesn’t make them of any more or less inherent value than all of God’s children. Your babies or mine, a Fulani child or a Quebecois child, they all deserve the same health, safety and freedoms.
So, as the news coverage begins in full swing about this little one’s birth turning our population figures from six billion to seven… remember all of those babies being born, no matter where they are and think of what future they will face at least in part due to our daily choices.
As for me, I will continue to speak the truth when and as I see it. I will continue to be the voice of those little girls in India or China who might not survive their mother’s womb because they aren’t as desired as a little baby boy. I will continue to speak out for freedom of speech so that children can one day grow up and speak from their hearts instead of speaking out of fear. I’ll keep working each day so that mothers across the world can support African mothers as they try to provide food, education opportunities and basic care to their children. Why don’t you join the fight for this 7 billionth baby’s future and for the future of those babies born both before and after him?
And as for you little one, wherever you are born, to whomever you are born… Mama Afrika loves you!