The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

It’s My Birthday!

“It’s my birthday!” Well, actually it is not. My birthday is in September. But, I am always so excited when I hear that someone is excited about the fact that it is their birthday.

A birthday is always this strange phenomenon. …At least in my mind. It is that day of anticipation, of anticipated happiness. …At least for some. Their happiness always makes me happy. Their excitement always bleeds over onto me.

I mean, Facebook tells you when its one of, “Your friend’s” birthday so you can wish them a happy one.

For the people who are close to me, I truly hope to do my bit to make their day a good one. I mean some people are really all about that day. Some people get parties, some people get surprise parties, some people take the day off, some people just do small things, but it seems it is always celebrated.

My birthday’s never seemed that monumental. I guess that is why they just kind of pass in my mind with little thought. I never had birthday parties as a kid or anything like that. The only one I kinda had was when I was turning eight and just my aunt (my father’s sister) and my grandmother were invited. I did get a new bike that year. That was fun. My parents got it from the blue chip stamp catalogue.

The interesting/sad thing about that so-called party was that the day before I had been hit by this Japanese gardener’s pickup truck, while riding my previous bike. I got smacked off of it. My face, (just under my eye), hitting the curb on the street. I was later told that messed up the vision in that eye forever. But anyway, I had a major shiner on that eye, that day; my eighth birthday. The photos from that day are kinda interesting.

This is not a Boo Hoo moment or anything like that. It is just a life description, defined by my birthday. Had my birthday not been the next day it would just be one of those moments that faded to the abyss of one person’s life in general.

When I turned eighteen, I was helping at a retreat for Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Yoga Institute. One of the Swamis realized it was my birthday. We, the yogi staff, all snuck out and they took me to have carrot cake at a nearby restaurant. That was great!

After that though, I pretty much spent my birthdays far off and away, in some lost destination on the planet earth.

Then, at one point, when I was in my twenties, I decided that the best thing I could do on my birthday was to do something for someone else—spend that day doing something right for someone else. Since then, that is what I do. That is the definition of my birthday(s). I consciously do what I can for a least one other person, (or more). I make that big something, of a birthday, mean something for them, not me. And, I never mention it is my birthday. In fact, I never mention that anyway.

So, what am I saying here? Yes, birthdays are cool. Some of you probably really anticipate their arrival. Yeah, you’re a year older and some people hate that fact. But mostly, most people love the arrival of that one special, “Me,” day. Yeah, it’s your day, so why don’t you take that one day and instead of taking, instead of expecting, instead of making it all about you, why don’t you define that day as the day you are going to do something big for someone else? Don’t you think that would make the world just a little bit better?