I have found one thing that every living being on this planet has in common: a birthday. Some people think their birthday is the most wonderful day of the year. Some people think the world exists to serve and glorify them on their birthday. Some people think that a birthday is just another day. And yesterday, I heard a new one: birthdays should be a day that celebrates mothers (for their obvious vital role in the existence of said birthday. not to knock the dads…but let’s be real.). Regardless of what you think a birthday is or should be, hopefully it is a reminder of the gift of life and the transmission of life. The existence of life allows for more lives to be created. Without such existence, there would be no life.
Yesterday was my Michael Jordan birthday. In many ways, it was just another day. I went to work. I did laundry. I did some work for school (not nearly enough…but that’s beside the point.). Pretty typical day in the life of ko. But yesterday was special. Unexpected gifts, serenades (both in person and via technological means), and lots of phone calls, hugs and cards made the day a bit atypical.
The events of yesterday left me feeling loved, encouraged and affirmed yesterday. There’s something about birthdays that make you feel special. People acknowledge your existence. They celebrate your life, who you are and what you mean to them. We are reminded of the beauty that comes from relationships, both past and present. It’s a glorious thing, really. As I began my pre-sleep routine, it occurred to me while I was brushing my teeth (trust me, great insights are made doing this wonderful activity!) that we should celebrate, affim and love people like it is their birthday everyday. But then, while moisturizing (not as much of a philosophical activity, but definitely important!), the debate continued…the special treatment that comes with a birthday is meant for just that: a day. To paraphrase Skinner (look at that – I can connect educational psychology theory to my birthday ramblings), if we celebrated every day (positive reinforcement), then the celebration would no longer be special (extinction). As I lifted the covers and climbed into my wonderful bed, I said goodbye to a beautiful birthday, yet treasured the great love that filled it and made it such an encouraging day.