Of Birthdays

An excerpt from Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth:

He was in a tent.

“This is a birthday present from my Uncle Ry,” Stillwater said. “He always gives presents on his birthday, to celebrate the day he was born. I like it so much, that I’m not staying in my house right now.”

Stillwater invited Addy to sit with him.

“You brought me some cake!” said Stillwater. “That was very nice of you. Is it your birthday?” he asked.

“No,” said Addy.

“It’s not mine, either,” said Stillwater. “But let me give you a gift for my uncle’s birthday. I will tell you a story.”


Thoughts? I’m almost embarrassed to admit times in my youth when I would feel sorry for myself when friends forgot to wish me a happy birthday. Can you imagine? Expecting others to celebrate the day I was born when I wasn’t taking steps to celebrate it myself. Muth suggests a simple yet significant thought here: That celebrating one’s birthday is about honouring those who are most dear to you – those who have helped you to become the person you are.

If I don’t get a chance to say it: Thank you. I am so grateful that you have been a part of my life. And I hope that you truly know this.

Muth, J.J. (2005). Zen shorts. Scholastic Press: New York.


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