Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air, world-renowned poet Thomas Gray wrote.
Gray's poem so aptly sums up the lonely fate of onemonth-old baby Kenosi, found by a gardener in the veld in Vanderbijlpark last week.
Having survived the cold winter night crying, Kenosi passed away the following day, still unclaimed.
Scores of babies are abandoned daily by desperate mothers - some too young to shoulder the responsibility of motherhood - in dark alleys across the country.
Thankfully some are found alive but others are not so fortunate, succumbing to lonely, premature deaths in the most obscure places.
But, if we care so much for children, how can we allow babies such as Kenosi to suffer such indignities?
How can we allow these babies to be reduced to inanimate, nameless objects born into the wilderness and ultimately buried as paupers - when we are supposed to embrace ubuntu?
Touched by the plight of the baby, the Editor of Sowetan and the staff felt we could no longer be immune to a social problem staring all of us in the face.
In Kenosi, whom we so named to avoid her being reduced to another cold, faceless statistic, we saw an opportunity to nudge our collective conscience to recognise a malaise that is slowly decaying our social fabric.
We are saddened by the thought of her being burdened with such a cruel fate.
Our hearts ache at the fact that she had been failed by the very humanity into whose care God had given her.
Kenosi might have been a prisoner of the circumstances that determined her fate, but she did not deserve such a wretched welcome to the world.
All said and done, we will not judge her parents, though. Our hearts empathise with her mother, who might have agonised over this inhuman act in her state of hopelessness.
Time has come for our society to listen to the muted cry for help from young mothers, which often goes unheard in many families and neighbourhoods.
May Kenosi's soul rest in peace.