The images of very young humans, animals, and even plants provide a powerful impetus in us to interact with them. The presence of the nascent ones in person affects us even more strongly. What causes the positive reactions and the urges to protect and care for them does not come only from our desire to help these babies on the beginning of life’s rough road. It is intensely personal for us too, for the sense of our own growth and renewal. What we feel, so deeply we may not even know it, is hope. Hope for the youngsters we’re observing and holding, hope for ourselves and our goals, and hope for our planet and all its occupants. Why we feel this hope isn’t as important as knowing the hope is there, alive and well within us. With living hope we can feel good about our accomplishments and be well and truly able to look after and guide the babies newly arrived and growing with us. We can strive to affect a positive path for our future and that of others without giving in to despair. There are few things more energizing that to see a new life or lives and wish to create or save something positive and good for them and at the same time enrich ourselves. With hope there is always a choice and a chance for betterment. A new year is another kind of baby and when we experience the start of a new year we know we can influence our own lives and those of others for the greater good. Even though the break in the calendar’s days is artificial, it is a very real chance to revive hope’s influence in our lives. May you have a healthy and prosperous new year. Why not?