Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Birthdays As Milestones

Recently I celebrated what is referred to as a"milestone" birthday.

A milestone marks the distance to a particular place. It's also an action or event signifying an important change or stage in development. One can't help but to view that distance in relation to the sobering reality that at some point, we have more years in back of us than we do in front of us. That's when, according to our society, you are no longer getting older, but are getting old.

That's one way of looking at.

The other is to embrace the action or event signifying the important change. No action is greater than the one that can create a domino effect of equal or greater actions. That action is introspection.

Introspection eludes many on birthdays because birthday parties (introduced to us as children) or partying on one's birthday (as adults), are a conditioned response to one's birthing event. 

Looking deep within one's mind and taking inventory of one's life (and the purpose and direction of it), should be routine, but they are not. Birthdays are the ideal time to engage in this this elusive activity which can be life affirming, life altering, or life saving.

My birthday affirmed a couple of things for me. One is that despite not being rich, I feel rich, or rather, I have lived richly. While I am not a man of great affluence, I have thrived as a man of great influence while living a mission driven life, with no regrets.

Milestone birthdays trigger such reflections revolving around one's rank and wealthiness in life. Upon such reflection you come to the realization that it's really one's enrichment of family, friends, and work that create our real status: healthiness and happiness.

This is crucial to note because most of us are rich (as in enriched) beyond comprehension, which also means that we are rich beyond measure, but we tend to focus more on what we don't have (rather than what we do have); placing more value on the status of wealthiness, which distorts our view of the enrichment process.

So when it comes to birthday milestones, it's not the day, but the action that should accompany the day; one that is not marked by a place or distance, but rather an inner peace defined by an appreciation of the moment, and rekindled enthusiasm about the prospects of a future that holds even greater enrichment.

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