Seven billion today

The Guardian newspaper today noted that, according to the United Nations, the seven billionth inhabitant will arrive to grace this Planet Earth. They asked readers to write a letter to this newborn. Hundreds responded. This was my response...


Dear seven billionth inhabitant of planet earth
Yes, child, you are 'dear' if only to your parents, grandparents and perhaps but not necessarily the siblings who naturally look forward with such eagerness to the material legacies they must now share with this new arrival (you).
Neither, I am sorry to tell you, are you in any way dear to the other 6,999,999, 999 or so earthlings who will contest your right, by war or empoverishment or uncaring neglect, to a share of this planet's resources; because of course your birth will deplete their own share of those.
Neither are you dear to the billions of species other than Mankind who inhabit the Earth, knowing they are looked upon only as food or as amusement or as just plain nasty and to be eradicated by the dominant species of which you are now one.
But wait!
Perhaps there is, after all, a saving grace. Perhaps it is you that is the saving grace. Perhaps you will become the one who will be able to reach into the human soul and to emerge from the darkness, with all of your fellow Man behind, into those green and sunlit pastures of which our prophets have down the ages spoken.
I hope so, for such a hope however remote is the only justification for your birth.


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