Birthday Celebrations and Shaming


I know why birthdays can be annoying to a lot of people. These people suddenly disappear or become busy to avoid their own birthdays. They may go through their closed ones' birthdays grinding their teeth. May be it's because of the party demanding mobs who need any excuse to extort free food, or the not-so-meaningful flood of facebook/whatsapp group wishes on the cue of a birthday reminder, or the general existential crisis intensifying severely on that day, or the anxiety of being close to the Grim Reaper, or the aversion to the hyped up industries around it - party decor, gifts, cakes etc. 

To some people, birthdays are major milestones of their fleeting lives on this blue planet. May be they feel that they have not just circled the sun for 365 days, but have successfully survived yet another year in this world, or it's a gentle reminder to live well the rest of the years, or it's a day of self-reflection and contemplation - to change gears and steer their life, or it's a legit excuse to take a break and spend time with their tribe, or an excuse for little self indulgence after an year long budgeting, or a day full of music, fun, people and parties, or truly a day they can call their own. 

Some love to celebrate and some love to be left alone(their own way of celebrating). 

But then there's a third set of people who's sole purpose on someone else's birthday is to shame them for celebrating in whatever way they deem it to be fun. For every positive excitement from the birthday person, there will be a more negative and opposite reaction from these people, chanting the gentle reminder every minute: "birthdays are overrated". The guilt trip comes in several ways:

  • "You are a grown up!" as if the license to celebrate gets cancelled once you get to vote.
  • Moral burden: why spend it on a party, when you can do it on an orphanage? This person could be literally funding an entire village's education, but if their birthday isn't spent in an orphanage or another ngo, they have failed the entire humanity. 
  • But in the grand scheme of poverty, world hunger, this is so insignificant. (OR) But it's just yet another day. So is everything else! In the grand scheme of universe and it's billions of stars, everything else is insignificant, yet we still mark our calendars with zillion festivals, ceremonies, parties, national holidays, every God's birthday and much more - all to make sense, to find meaning in our meaningless lives. Yet taking a day off to spend time alone on your own birthday seems like the most selfish act to the commies.
  • Whats so great about living upto 30? Yeah? Tell that to the medieval kids with life expectancy around 31, they had to 7-zip(compress) their entire life into two or three decades,if lucky, by getting married in childhood, having kids in teenage and grandkids by 30. 

It's the same policy as 'Live and let live'. You are entitled to feel that birthdays are overrated and spend your birthday the way you want. You are entitled to boycott other people's birthdays that annoy you. But don't be a spoilsport, intentionally ruining the day for someone else and dampening their spirits every moment, let them enjoy their day. Leave the birthday to the birthday person!



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