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Importance of a Birthday


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As I no longer celebrate Christmas and Easter (as well as thanksgiving, but for other reasons) after de-converting, I have also taken to questioning the necessity of my own birthday, and am wondering if anyone else has pondered this as well.


I have not celebrated my birthday in roughly 5-6 years, save for the sake of my father, who is a Lutheran Christian. Whenever he asks me what I would like for my birthday (as well as christmas), I tell him I want absolutely nothing, as I take a minimalistic approach to living my life, and desire nothing but what I already have. Of course, he has then asked me if I am depressed and suicidal, being I do not want presents. Of these, I am neither. I simply do not desire the (as I see it) selfishness (needing others to acknowledge I have been born and currently exist) nor the materialism (presents for me, me, me!) I feel that is associated with celebrating my birthday.


Why should I celebrate my birthday? I notice that my birthday can be no more special or worthless than any other person currently existing, or has ever existed. So I look to the commonality I have with everyone else. There is only one thing that everyone has in common with another in regards to a birthday that is separate from each person's ability to celebrate as they so choose: on anyone's birthday, great or small, rich or poor, we all have the commonality that we have each traveled once around the sun. I find nothing of greater significance than this. Having this, I should celebrate my birthday in accordance with having traveled once around the sun. But my birthday is no more special than someone else's who's birthday falls a day or half a year after mine. On another's birthday, I am reserved to objectivism in experiencing their birthday, whereas on mine I am reserved to subjectivism. I have observed objectively with others that their birthday is only as significant as having traveled around the sun once as well. With this, I see no reason to celebrate my birthday, as I fail to see the importance of it.


How should I celebrate my birthday? As I have reflected on religious holidays, I also ask this question of myself, as I do not consider myself above such questioning, but rather, at the heart of it. If I am to celebrate my birthday, I want to celebrate it right. To find out how to celebrate my birthday, I am reserved to tradition. But traditions vary, and what others do, my family does not, and vice versa. The differences in traditions are indicators that neither tradition may be right and that quite likely, both might very well be wrong. Taking a 'stripping-down' approach to this, what is left after every difference and contradiction is removed from these traditions? Having analyzed enough traditions, I find that all traditions end up cancelling each other out. To celebrate my birthday correctly, then, is to not celebrate it at all.


What happens if I do not celebrate my birthday? When I have decided not to celebrate my birthday, I have watched the 'American Beauty' effect happen (that is, as my life becomes calmer, others around me become induced to greater turmoil). I feel better about myself, not in satisfying my desires on my birthday, but by controlling them. If I continue to celebrate my birthday, it is simply because I choose not to disrupt the 'bubble' of the smooth continuity of another person's life. But in doing this, I feel I am absolutely wasting valuable time that, due to entropy, I will never get back. And I do this by choice.


Has anyone else thought about this?

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Guest samurai_cowboy

I stopped celebrating my own birthday two years ago, only because I didn't see it as a big deal for anyone involved, and I have a natural dislike for rituals.


As far as the wasted energy argument... Well, how much of a waste is spending time hanging out with friends, gift-giving, eating and drinking together?


Granted, that may depend on your friends.

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