I have always wondered what is the best way to celebrate birthdays. First of all – why do we celebrate birthdays and secondly how should we ? If we ask ourselves as to why we celebrate, we may find it difficult to answer. I am not sure if we brought in joy to our parents, family and friends when we were born. If we assume we did, what have we done in life so far to repay them for that joy. If we reflect back, we may find it difficult to answer.
I decided to try. I have assumed that my parents were happy that I was born to them. Have I lived up to their expectations ? Honestly, I have never asked them. Today, my parents are no more and may be difficult to know the true and honest answer. However, if I do a self evaluation – let me see if I pass the test. I did manage to pass through school, college and professional education. Then luckily I got a job on my own credentials in a difficult era, where jobs were scarce. I have tried my best to be conscientious in my work and give my best to the organisations I have been associated in my life.
If I then move to my personal front. I got married and have two kids. I have helped them find their own way in life. They have studied on their own merit and today work in reputable organisations based on their own credibility. I have taken care of my spouse and she has been my source of strength throughout my life. I could give my spouse more than half of the credit for whatever little I have accomplished in my life so far.
If I move to the next level of community and society – what have I accomplished ? God has been kind to me and provided me with all that I need. I have no regrets in life and have hardly missed anything which God has not provided me in life so far. I am extremely grateful to God so far. However, have I given back to society as much as society has given to me so far in life. I am not sure. So, here is an area, where I think I can give much more than what I have benefited.
So, here lies the answer to my question – Why do we celebrate birthdays and how should we celebrate ? Each of us can analyse our performance at the family front, work front and society front and make a self analysis. Once it is clear to us that where we need to contribute more in one of the aspect of our life, we can focus on what we can do more in that sphere.
I am grateful to God, my family and friends for whatever I have been bestowed in life. May be it is time for me to give back more to society. So, I commit to find ways and means to give back more than I take from society from now on. It could be in the form of my blogs – where I share my failures, successes and learnings . It could be in the form of my sharing my knowledge ,experience or expertise to organisations or individuals who need it more than me. It could be any way by which I feel I am able to give back to society more.
Today, being my birthday I have tried to make a humble start. May God bless me to do more and give back more to society. The more I am able to give back to people I do not know and the people who deserve more, the more I may get nearer to fulfilling the joy of my parents who gave birth to me. This could be a reason to celebrate my birthday every year and giving back more to society may be my way of celebration.
S Ramesh Shankar