In Less Than Ideal Circumstances, Beauty Can Still Bloom

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

It was the Spring morning I’d been longing for. Brilliant sunshine embraced me as I stepped outside with my freshly-brewed coffee, observing the green wave of new life that creeped over my backyard.

As I strolled beyond the cultivated garden beds, I spotted the unexpected. Beyond the back fence, amidst last season’s decomposing yard debris, perched at the foot of a withered woodpile, was a magnificent singular white hyacinth.

This lone bulb must have been accidentally uprooted last year and transplanted to a less than ideal home, the wildly overgrown woods where we dump clippings and weeds.

Yet, somehow that bulb found just enough light, warmth, and nourishment to produce a majestic flower that filled me with joy by its very existence. I thought it more beautiful than any other flower in my yard. It not only survived, it thrived, and it was all the more glorious for the contrast it provided to its own barren and bleak surroundings.  

It was a little metaphorical signpost from our Creator, a reminder of both the potential and resiliency of life, especially human life.  How many of us have been thrown into less than ideal circumstances, and yet managed to survive? How many of us were born into such a situation?

Our society mistakenly leads us to believe that we can only welcome new life at the ideal time, in the ideal place, with the ideal partner.  And when any of those conditions are not met, some believe that it is better for everyone’s sake, including the child’s, to reject that budding life so full of potential and resiliency. How many babies are aborted every single day, never being given any chance at life because circumstances are perceived to be less than ideal?

When a young woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, she is uprooted into an unfamiliar world that she can find frightening. It can be difficult to see past the present moment of fear and uncertainly. Thrown into rocky soil, she may be unsure if she can become rooted again and provide for herself and her child.  

But nature itself reflects the buoyancy of the human spirit, the untold potential, the possibilities that can be.

Let us be that society that provides enough light, warmth, and nourishment that envelopes her as she brings forth new life. Let us help her look beyond the imperfect situation of the present moment and envision the hyacinth that might be awaiting. Let us say with our lips and show with our actions this simple but often forgotten truth: that in less than ideal circumstances, beauty can still bloom, life can still blossom, and the world made infinitely better for it.

Canceling Kids: Depleting Our Greatest Natural Resource

by Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

A few days ago my 23 year old niece did something extraordinary.  She had a baby. A precious 10 pound baby girl.

Whereas in the past, giving birth seemed like a natural, common, and somewhat ordinary progression of life (yet still inherently miraculous), today having a child, or even more so children, is nothing short of extraordinary.

With today’s couples delaying marriage and often trading in bibs for leashes, the birthrate in the United States has hit its lowest rate ever. Some attribute this to the pandemic, but the fact is that the birthrate has been dropping steadily for several years.

The case against children has been simmering under the cultural surface for decades as the abortion industry has cast children as the enemy to be eradicated. Children limit our freedom. Children require sacrifice. Children are expensive.

The messaging has been subtle and steady. Now, however, it’s screaming at us from billboards: “Stop Having Children!”

As reported by Life News, that’s the very visible billboard campaign launched in Portland, Oregon by a pro-abortion group subscribing to anti-natalism, a “philosophical and ethical stance against human reproduction…to radically reduce suffering and environmental destruction in the world.” 

This is Margaret Sanger 2.0. Like the founder of Planned Parenthood, this small but vocal group of extremists believes the way to eliminate suffering is to eliminate the sufferer.

If we stop having kids, we’ll stop bringing people into a world that has problems.  And, as a happy side effect, there will be more resources for those of us granted the privilege of birth.

Cancel culture canceling life itself.

But there are problems with this sterile, short-sighted wokism.

The drooling babies, demanding toddlers, and difficult teens of today eventually become what you and I are now- the older and wiser caretakers, the persistent problem-solvers, the productive contributors to society.

Babies become people. And people are our greatest natural resource, fueling the world with their ingenuity, hard work, and good deeds. People discover, invent, cure, produce, and achieve. We imagine, overcome, inspire, seek a greater good, and above all, we love.

Canceling children today cancels tomorrow’s generations, and that severely limits our potential as a society.

Just ask China.

After years of brutally enforcing a one-child policy, they are now scrambling to reverse their humanity deficit as reported in Forbes magazine. Couples are now “permitted” to have up to three children in China to replenish their population.

Billionaire Elon Musk has issued his own warning about global population decimation, stating, “Please look at the numbers – if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”

But the problem of canceling kids is bigger than labor shortages or economic impact. We don’t just have children to supply tomorrow’s workforce.  Rather, children are the fullest expression of human love.

And when we have them, through the demands made and sacrifices offered, we learn to love in a way we hadn’t before. We become more “other-oriented” which is not only beneficial to the family unit but good for society in general. Raising children, the citizens of tomorrow, is a chance to
leave a legacy, our fingerprint on the future.

But children are not just our tomorrow, they are also our today.  They surprise and delight, help us to stay grounded, and become lifelong friends, perhaps even our own caretakers.  They give us more, much more, than they demand.  It’s not something we can quantify or even adequately articulate. If you know, you know.

What we need in our country is not anti-children billboards scaring young people away from parenthood, but a return to the very ordinary idea that having a family is a beautiful, worthwhile, and in its own way, extraordinary vocation.

As GK Chesteron said, “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”

Let’s make America extraordinarily ordinary again by welcoming children into a country that we can make better together.