I remember in vivid detail the moment each of my daughters were born into life's keeping. Two things about that moment had a true, lasting impact on me. What I consider most awe-inspiring was their very first amazing and miraculous breath, and with that breath the animations of life and their helpless, compelling cries. I have thought intently about it over the years, about its profound implications on my understanding of the mysterious world around us and ultimately about its beauties. The second thing that has continued to impact me is that as this happened — in that instant of their springing into being — I helplessly wept tears of utter and absolute humility and joy as a witness to the sacred gift of life and creation. Each time I think about the moment of their births, it poignantly reminds me that I have, continue, and will forever cherish each breath and every beat of their precious hearts. My children's births forever command me to accept that each soul I encounter also once took that first breath, and was — and is — a beautiful child at heart. Basic respect for life is the foundation for treating all people and all life with the utmost dignity. The gift of life carries in its compelling innocence an implied mandate to protect all life, and this is the noble striving of respect.