To people in many parts of the world, birthdays are a cause for celebration. Birthday is commemorating another year of life, it’s a special day as your relatives, friends and even co-workers give you gifts. They shower you with one day of affection for just existing. I never really understood why people do that because I came from a family who only celebrates one birthday. Only on the day of the actual birth. While many people say my siblings and I are deprived of the best things in life, we beg to disagree.
The Impracticality of Yearly Birthdays
Resource wise, I never understood why people choose to spend a whole month of salary in just one day. I’ve seen parents try to outdo the neighborhood birthdays by getting wilder and crazier than the next party. From clowns to bouncy castles to finally renting out a whole menagerie of animals. Sometimes I think it’s not about the anniversary of someone’s birth but more on bragging rights on who has more money to spend.
Pride and Presents
I do believe birthdays instill a lot of self-entitlement to individuals. Just for the reason of existing you get presents. That’s even worse than participation awards because you haven’t really done anything at all to warrant any sort of award. My parents held off on presents in lieu of real-life achievements that matter. Such as getting top grades, staying on the Dean’s List or for my brothers their silver and gold medals that they won at sports.
My indifference to birthdays pales in comparison to my sheer disgust with debuts. Quincenearas, Sweet 16 birthdays or 18th birthday debuts are pointless extravagant splurges that only seem to create self-entitled women. However, I do understand with some historical context that our ancestors celebrated life when they could. The average age of death when these celebrations were created averaged at about 35 to 40 years old. In modern times, we’ve twisted these celebrations into bragging rights of who spent more on their debut. And the degree of sexualization these girls get from leering uncles and other men at the party is so blatant that it’s too creepy.
Birthdays Can Kill
Ironically, what’s meant to celebrate your coming to live in the world can also kill you. Most people think that your birthday makes you immune to death for one day. They do crazy stuff such drinking themselves to death or doing things that could get them maimed or worse. It was in 2008 when a study found a “21 for 21” ritual where the birthday celebrant and revelers attempt to drink 21 alcoholic drinks. This led to people dying either from alcohol overdose or accidents and incidents related to drunkenness. Nowadays it’s just no holds barred drinking and partying in bars.
With all the dangers birthdays bring, I really still wonder why people celebrate them. To my family, it’s just another day of life. There’s no reason to wait for a full year to say thank you and then hope for another year of life. We do thank ourselves and God at the end of the day for being alive and pray for more days to come even if it’s just one day at a time.