I have a good friend whose sister delivered a baby girl today (congratulations!). She emailed pictures, and as I'm looking at this teeny little being I was overcome by emotion. There is something amazingly powerful about babies. Of course we are all hardwired for reacting to babies; evolution has seen to it that we think they're cute and want to care for them. Babies hit us at a deep level.
But the emotion I felt wasn't just about the baby girl, it was about the parents, and my friend, and me, and everyone whose lives were touched by this event. (Maybe about you, too, reading this blog post!) It brings us all back to what's important. These are weird times, wherein it's been possible to lose all the material things you've worked hard to gain over ten+ years in six months. Which makes you wonder, what's the point? And then you consider this baby girl, and you think about the paths that led to her existence, and the road ahead for her - paved with the unknown, as Tolkein says - and you realize what's really important, and it isn't your big house or your fancy car, it's your family and your friends.
This ties in pretty nicely with the philosophy of Johan Bruyneel, who advocates focusing relentlessly on the things which matter, and with the tongue-in-cheek-but-really-good Tyranny Antidote, which includes pruning away the things which don't. I think I'm going to go spend a few minutes with my daughter :)