Hello little Luna, welcome to the world.

Incidentally, the day your first lusty cry loudly and clearly announced your presence on the planet, you were one of some 375,000 newly minted Americans born during that same 24-hour period.

Your name, of course, derives from Latin, and it means moon in both Spanish and Italian.

That same old moon will, on most nights, provide a gentle nightlight as you embark on your journey through this thing we call life.

Your name, incidentally, is No. 16 on the list of top 1,000 names for girls according to the website, whattoexpect.com.

Oh yeah, I forgot, by the time you get old enough to read and understand this, websites may be a thing of past, like rotary telephones are for us today.

There is no telling how far technology will have advanced by the time you reach elementary school, high school, college and beyond.

This is a marvelous world, full of endless possibilities. Humankind is capable of remarkable things, when it puts its mind to it.

There is music and art and literature, not to mention theater and cinema. In a more practical sense there is science, technology, engineering and math. You’ll find your niche, more than one, actually.

Sorry to inject a cautionary note into this rather one-sided discussion, but human beings can be absolute beasts, too. This old world can be a violent, cold, cruel place.

You are lucky, you have a big sister and two parents who would happily lay down their lives for you, not to mention two sets of grandparents who will dote on your every move, every frown, giggle and burp.

Too many little ones are subject to horrible abuse, or are simply caught up in the cycle of extreme poverty. Never take what you have for granted.

You will not notice this for some time in your young life, but not every little boy and girl looks like you. Some are born with fair skin, like yours, but many are dark brown, like rich chocolate, or are other shades of umber. Some have eyes that aren’t shaped like yours. Some don’t have all 10 toes and 10 fingers, some are missing hands, legs, feet and arms. Some can’t see, some can’t hear.

Regardless of their appearance, regardless of their circumstances, regardless of any physical and/or philosophical differences, every child born under the old moon for which you are named deserves respect, compassion and consideration. These are big words you will eventually learn the meaning of, and hopefully you will put them to good use throughout the course of your life.

But the most important word you will learn throughout your time on this old earth is love. Love is all you will know for the first years of your life. You are surrounded by it, swaddled in it.

But as you age you will confront another word, hate. And I don’t mean like, you hate the strained peas your parents try to foist off on you, but real, raw hate. Like hating another human being simply because they are different from you. Sure it makes no sense, but there is far too much of it going around these days. There is no place for it in this world, but it is there nonetheless. Don’t get caught up in it, I beg you, don’t perpetuate it, don’t tolerate it.

Hopefully before your time on this planet draws to a close you will have changed the world. Maybe you will find the cure for cancer, or the secret to ending world hunger, or for bringing clean water to all the children in all the nations on the planet.

Or maybe you will only have changed the world you directly touch, your friends and family. That’s OK, positive change is positive change, no matter the scale.

Be a good person, be a loving person, be a compassionate person, these are the everyday changes we all can make. Try to brighten someone’s day, every day, and the world will be a better place for your having lived in it.

In the meantime I think someone needs to have their britches changed. Is that you or me? Oh, sorry. I’ll be right back.

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Mullin is an award-winning writer and columnist who retired in 2017 after 41 years with the News & Eagle. Email him at janjeff2002@yahoo.com or write him in care of the Enid News & Eagle at PO Box 1192, Enid, OK, 73702.

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