Friday, March 18, 2005


Yes, today is my birthday. I have finally hit the ripe, old age of 24. I have never really been a fan of celebrating my birthday. I do, however, love celebrating other people's birthdays. Mainly, I don't like focusing on mine because I just don't like being that center of attention for the day. It's not that I hate being the center of attention, because I do, but I like it to be for something other than the artificialness of the attention you get on your birthday. If I win a pick-up basketball game for the team I'm playing on, I don't mind being the center of attention. If I complete a project ahead of schedule and do it well, I'll gladly be the focus of the office. If I just got back from a trip somewhere, everyone come ask me about it. A birthday, though, I don't see as a reason for me to be remembered by people. It just happens to be the day of the year I was born on.

I used to love birthdays when I was younger, as do all kids I imagine, because of the presents. Grow another year older--get things! It was such a great concept, but then I got into college and it wasn't a big deal any more. Sure, people would still want to get me things for my birthday, especially my parents and grandparents, because they wanted to remember me on my birthday. I didn't mind still getting presents. Really, who's going to complain if another person gets you something? What I didn't like were the instances where people would ask me, "So what do you want for your birthday?" The answer for me was always the same--nothing. I was simply happy enough to be alive for another year and to be around people I cared about.

This year, however, I have a different request for my birthday. What I want is for people to do something nice today. Big or small, for someone you know or someone you don't, if you get the chance to do something nice, do it. I've found it's so easy to be negative and selfish that sometimes I forget to be nice. At times I'll be so self-absorbed that other people don't even factor into my worldview and I hate that part of me.

So just for me, do something nice today. Tell a co-worker how much you appreciate what they're doing. Give your girlfriend a hug. Give a homeless man a few dollars. Buy the office donuts. Say thank you. Cook something for your family. Tell a friend how much his or her friendship actually means to you. I don't care what it is, and I don't care if you actually do anything or not, but I want everyone to know that this is all I want for my birthday. I don't want dvd's or video games or clothes or gadgets or any other random material things. All I want is people doing something sweet for someone other than themselves. That's what will make my day, not presents. Try to make the world a joyful place to live in instead of the hell it so often feels like.

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