Today is my birthday. Actually, today is the anniversary of my birth. But, of course, we call this day a birthday, even though this isn’t really my “birth” “day.”
What about my question in the title? What are we celebrating when we celebrate a birthday? I find this question to be most interesting. Throughout my life, I have had a special feeling on my birthday. I don’t know how to describe it other than I feel like I deserve to be treated special. Maybe I have had expectations ingrained in my mind that resurfaces each June 29. Perhaps the mental feeling is something like the one I feel at Christmas. At Christmas, I feel like a celebration is in order and of course, Christmas is also a celebration of a birthday. Now please understand, I am NOT comparing myself to Christ. I am only trying to describe a feeling that I think a lot of people have on their birthdays. At least, I’m sure some do.
So, what are we celebrating on a birthday? I think, LIFE. Yes, life and the fact that we have lived another year, therefore satisfying one of our most fundamental drives – to live. When I was a young person going to a church school, I remember being taught about the fundamental drives we humans have. I remember four of them are: to eat, to drink, to reproduce and to live. If my memory is correct, killing oneself was considered bad because it went against human nature or meant doing something “unnatural.”
As I read over what I have written so far, I believe it is entirely too serious. Come on, Ron (R2), lighten up a little. Ok, that’s an excellent idea. Let’s have a few corny jokes. Since I was once a farm boy, these will be called: “pure corn from the farm jokes.” :-)
Q: What did one candle say to the other?
A: “Don’t birthdays burn you up?”
Q: What did the big candle say to the little candle?
A: “You’re too young to go out.”
Q: What does a cat like to eat on his birthday?
A: Mice cream and cake!
Do you agree, that these are “pure corn from the farm?” :-)
I will end with a few quotes from those who have given us thoughts about birthdays and, to say the least, are a bit more insightful than mine.
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. – George Santayana
For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday. – John Glenn
The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you’ll grow out of it. – Doris Day
You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake. – Bob Hope