The lesson of the birthday

THAT was my favorite birthday present this year.

cake.candleOne of the traditions in my office, when we have our monthly birthday party, is that the persons celebrating their natal day need to:

1. Say what they did on that day, and
2. Provide some words of wisdom.

What did I do on that day earlier this month? Mostly respond to all the kind comments from you all. This picture came from one of them. And I saw the video of the Daughter’s musical. More on that eventually.

Most people find the latter to be a difficult exercise. So what’s MY takeaway?

The day before my birthday, the sermon was a story about a fictional town, but with a very real message about unwarranted chastisement and forgiveness. I’m reminded of the cliche that you don’t always know what kind of impact you have on others, for good or for ill. This story, A principal met a student she expelled, and it changed her approach to discipline, is also in that vein.

One of those birthday comments I got from a friend of relatively recent acquaintance reads: “‘It’s good that you are alive…’ Thank you for your birthday blog quote, Roger! Happy Birthday! You have the gift of making people feel good to be alive — there were often times when I’d be feeling a bit false, and your cheerful, warm hello often made me feel completely present in the room again.”

And THAT was my favorite birthday present this year, better than the new backpack I desperately needed, or the certificate for snacks at the Spectrum Theatre.

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