A couple of years ago, I started celebrating my birthdays doing some social work for my community (if you want to know why or how it all started, click here). This year, I had a more environmentalist perspective. Months ago, I visited a dam in a small city near my parent’s home that is also an attraction for tourism. It is a nice water body that is home to ducks, fishes and some types of algae. However, the shore is always full of litter. A couple of times before, I took a bag and picked up what I could. But this time, last March 1st, my birthday, I went prepared.
I hadn’t been here on my own, so I used my GPS to arrive. Every step was full of impressions. Finally I got there: a shore with no shadow to hide within. So I opened my sack and started. Litter here, litter there. Squat, squat, squat. At some point I found what I had seen only on the Internet and social media: a dead duck. With the belly up, this little one had what appeared to be the thread of a net stuck between his foot and opening his mouth. I also found incredible amounts of straws, glass bottles, plastic bottles, styrofoam cups, candy and snack wrappings.
The day before I was retracting from doing it (It was nobody but The Resistance). I was thinking that there are more, and more impactful ways to act regarding waste. Maybe staying home, doing some research, creating some creative campaigns on social media or even fabricating some woody ads to settle next time would be better. But I did it. “It isn’t my birthday everyday” I thought. And it was totally worth it. There is no such thing as living it, putting your body to feel the work, your nose to feel the stinkiness, your eyes to see the dead animals, your legs to feel tired after each squat, your skin sweating under the sun. Only by doing this your heart knows better, feels more. This definitely transformed me and catapulted my energy towards my daily actions regarding climate change and my love for Earth.
Since 2019, birthday parties have become rituals of gratitude to me (link). A kind of offering, to say THANKS, really, for I’m still here, and to have good fortune in the new age. To find a way of giving instead of receiving, which is inherently related to love for life. Our birthday party can represent the end of a period of micro parties we celebrate each day of the year, or the launching party of a new age in which we can live full of similar adventures, the celebration of life emulating the incredibly generous nature, and the opportunity to give “thanks” for those who make our life more rich and satisfying.
What do you think about this way of celebrating birthdays? Or what is your point of view about birthdays in general? I find really interesting to know other opinions on this matter. Please feel free to left your comments below.