My Birthday

Ten years ago I threw myself a birthday party. It was not a vanity party. I am not a rock star. Most of my friends still don’t even know the date because I don’t have it published on Facebook or Twitter.

I did it then to curb the party that a few close friends and family promised to throw with all the things that make me feel uncomfortable. So, I invited my friends and family out to drinks at a very small reserved area at a tiny bar on the Upper West Side. More friends than I remember seeing in years took the time to come join me for drinks. Some came and left, others partied all night long. It was my roaring 30th.

Ten years are approaching and a lot as happened.

It’s been ten years. I hope a lot has happened.

I am married to an awesome woman I didn’t know then. I have a child who amazes me every day. Almost all of those people who were there ten years ago are still here — healthy and I hope happy today. I say almost all because four years ago on my birthday my father died. For a man (me) who doesn’t really celebrate birthdays this was and is still a good enough reason not to really jump for joy on mine.

I have what I want and I certainly have what I need.

There are many, too many who do not have what they need.

While at a conference put on by an overly wealthy tech company in an overly indulgent city I sat in on a presentation about Charity Water. The presentation was on the last day and the room was less than half full. I sat next my colleague and we watched and learned. We were both moved by the mission. The pitch was to donate your birthday. Donate all the gifts and parties that are thrown for you to their charity. Do it just once.

The idea resonated with me.

I don’t care for my birthday celebrations. Others do, but I don’t. So after thinking about it for a day the next morning I signed up on the site and pledged my birthday.

Every person I know, no matter their bad days, weeks, or years has daily access to clean drinking water. Every person I know, no matter their political or religious beliefs has access to clean drinking water.

The people being helped by this charity do not. If you’ve thought about sending a card, thank you, please take a moment to donate the cost to Charity Water this year. If you’ve thought about sending a nice gift, thank you, please donate the cost to Charity Water this year. If you’ve thought about setting up that real cool surprise party, thank you, please donate the cost to Charity Water. We’ll party in ten years, and maybe in 20 Calvin will throw me a nice bash — but this year take a few minutes and put that money toward something we all will have on my birthday that too many people do not.

Thank you.