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Old 27th February 2014, 08:27 PM   #136845  /  #1
TheAtheistWhoStoleJesus
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Happy Birthday??

I've often wondered about the Birthday celebrations and why we have them. I avoid mine and could completely do without them but I go along with it if I have to and I do them for my children. Does anyone else wonder what all the birthday fuss is about?
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Old 27th February 2014, 08:45 PM   #136846  /  #2
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My parents are Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the quirky things that some Witnesses do is not celebrate, essentially, anything. 'Everyday is a celebration of life'. Now, there are religious reasons for this point of view, but sans religion, I tend to agree.

My parents never organized a celebration on the anniversary of my birth. I don't do it now. Most people I know don't do it for me. And I don't feel like I have missed out on anything there.

Having a specific date for celebration is a convenience thing, I think. It is easier to plan something if people already think there is a significant date to keep in mind.
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:01 PM   #136848  /  #3
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It's a very common cultural individual celebration. Birth, after all, used to be a pretty mysterious thing, and was the tiny beginning of a person who might grow up to be a peasant, warrior, or king or queen. In cultures where many dates are celebrated or noted for one reason or another, it's not surprising birthdays would be celebrated.
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Old 27th February 2014, 09:40 PM   #136852  /  #4
TheAtheistWhoStoleJesus
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eric maybe I was jehovahs in a past life ...

I feel happy at the birth of a baby or if someone has some great good luck etc, but feeling happy for someone because its their birthday is really something I have to fake. Recently as I came into work a colleague said to me "its my birthday today" she was 50 and she was beaming with happiness. So I wished her all the best and gave her an "air kiss" but in my mind a voice was saying - "what are you, 4?" ... that seems awful I know but I'm so bad at faking it ...
I was just reading that the birthday may have started when calenders were invented.
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Old 27th February 2014, 10:15 PM   #136854  /  #5
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Calendars are pretty old. The Sumerians had a calendar, so around 3500 BC.

I don't see that you have to make a big deal over an adult's birthday, but saying Happy Birthday doesn't seem excessive.

As for your colleague - for many people 50 is a significant milestone. It's half a century, it's the average age at which women enter menopause, it's perhaps a marker for a stage of maturity.
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Old 27th February 2014, 10:31 PM   #136857  /  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
Calendars are pretty old. The Sumerians had a calendar, so around 3500 BC.

I don't see that you have to make a big deal over an adult's birthday, but saying Happy Birthday doesn't seem excessive.

As for your colleague - for many people 50 is a significant milestone. It's half a century, it's the average age at which women enter menopause, it's perhaps a marker for a stage of maturity.
I think its just something we get conditioned to acknowledge from childhood but we never get conditioned to grow out of it. Possibly the true sign of maturity would be to grow out of it ... I don't know.
Animals don't do it ...
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Old 27th February 2014, 10:40 PM   #136858  /  #7
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Animals* don't know they are personally going to die.

*with the possible exception of elephants.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:40 PM   #136868  /  #8
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Quote:
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Animals* don't know they are personally going to die.

*with the possible exception of elephants.
I still go along with the first paragraph I posted here.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:44 PM   #136870  /  #9
borealis
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I think they are often aware of death in others. I'm not so sure they recognise their own personal mortality. But perhaps you're right, and they just accept it as they do so much else.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:45 PM   #136871  /  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
It's a very common cultural individual celebration. Birth, after all, used to be a pretty mysterious thing, and was the tiny beginning of a person who might grow up to be a peasant, warrior, or king or queen. In cultures where many dates are celebrated or noted for one reason or another, it's not surprising birthdays would be celebrated.
I'd add that not so many children survived, and longevity was far shorter in times gone by. Not sure if those are factors in birthday celebration though.

Acknowledging birthdays .. I'm okay with it, but don't really like the obligation and expectation and commercialisation that is often built up around it .. for any anniversary or traditional occasion, actually.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:46 PM   #136872  /  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
I think they are often aware of death in others. I'm not so sure they recognise their own personal mortality. But perhaps you're right, and they just accept it as they do so much else.
They express fear and act in self (and sometimes altruistic) preservation .. I think of those as possible indicators of recognition of their own mortality.
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Old 27th February 2014, 11:51 PM   #136873  /  #12
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Perhaps, or just the instinct to survive, or fear of pain.

When I've had one cat die, and a second (her son) see them dead, the reaction was brief and dismissive. She was hit by a truck, and I brought her body in and laid it in a box. Other cat looked in the box, stared for a moment, and then went about his business.

Mind, she was an absolute bitch of a cat, most evil personality I've encountered in a cat I've cared for.
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:01 AM   #136878  /  #13
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hmmm ... you may be right about lack of awareness .. or it may be that most other species just don't feel the same emotions about death/loss of another that we do, for whatever reason.

Although, that just got me thinking about our own tendency to feel more emotional about the death of those we care more about .. again, for whatever reason..
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:04 AM   #136880  /  #14
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My ocd-ness is a tad triggered that this is in a birthday thread, while there's a perfectly good 'death in other species' thread elsewhere, btw. :l
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:06 AM   #136882  /  #15
borealis
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I'm sure TAWSJ and myself would be fine if you wanted to move those posts to that thread.
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:07 AM   #136884  /  #16
charlou
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No, it's fine .. I'll cope
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:09 AM   #136887  /  #17
borealis
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Brave girl!
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:10 AM   #136888  /  #18
charlou
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I've never used 'triggered' that way before. My tongue was deeply planted in my cheek.

Really, it was.


:eyetwitch:
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:11 AM   #136889  /  #19
borealis
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Lol, tempted to post that pic of a tile pattern with one little tile out of place that causes Bro D to wail piteously.
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:13 AM   #136891  /  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericv00 View Post
My parents are Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the quirky things that some Witnesses do is not celebrate, essentially, anything. 'Everyday is a celebration of life'. Now, there are religious reasons for this point of view, but sans religion, I tend to agree.
so do i
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:14 AM   #136892  /  #21
charlou
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yeh, so do I ^

Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
Lol, tempted to post that pic of a tile pattern with one little tile out of place that causes Bro D to wail piteously.
fetal position pending ..



actually, I like a bit of disorder .. a certain amount of imperfection .. a little ironic playfulness ... just not total chaos.
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:17 AM   #136895  /  #22
gib
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Originally Posted by borealis View Post
It's a very common cultural individual celebration. Birth, after all, used to be a pretty mysterious thing, and was the tiny beginning of a person who might grow up to be a peasant, warrior, or king or queen. In cultures where many dates are celebrated or noted for one reason or another, it's not surprising birthdays would be celebrated.
don't get me wrong, it's great when your kids survive another winter

but once you're a grown up who needs a special reason to have a party
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:18 AM   #136896  /  #23
borealis
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Charlou, I've seen your kitchen photos, looks like a painting.
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Old 28th February 2014, 12:20 AM   #136897  /  #24
borealis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gib View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
It's a very common cultural individual celebration. Birth, after all, used to be a pretty mysterious thing, and was the tiny beginning of a person who might grow up to be a peasant, warrior, or king or queen. In cultures where many dates are celebrated or noted for one reason or another, it's not surprising birthdays would be celebrated.
don't get me wrong, it's great when your kids survive another winter

but once you're a grown up who needs a special reason to have a party
Now, yes, in the past maybe you'd feel guilty about the extravagance unless you could come up with an excuse.

All that said, Think the last bday party I had was my 30th. There was tequila.
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Old 28th February 2014, 01:01 AM   #136906  /  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
Charlou, I've seen your kitchen photos, looks like a painting.
Looks like a .. well a neglected kitchen .. atm ... Chatting here is so good, but time to get on.
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