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What Is The Reason for Celebrating Birthdays

Why do we celebrate birthdays?

What is it that we are toasting? Is it the fact that we have survived another year against many odds? Are we marking the progress we have made, our cumulative achievements and possessions? Is a birthday the expression of hope sprung eternal to live another year? Or is it just the day we were born and we want to remind the world that this is when we arrived.

None of the above, it would seem.

Our birthdays are about the future, not about the past. We are celebrating having arrived so far because such successful resilience allows us to continue forward. We proclaim our potential to further enjoy the gifts of life. Birthdays are expressions of unbridled, blind faith in our own suspended mortality.

Thus, we are forced into the conclusion that birthdays are about self-delusionally defying death. Birthdays are about preserving the illusion of immortality. Birthdays are forms of acting out our magical thinking. By celebrating our existence, we bestow on ourselves protective charms against the meaninglessness and arbitrariness of a cold, impersonal, and often hostile universe.

And, more often than not, it works. Happy birthday!
Date posted: 25/11/2009


 
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