Wednesday, October 07, 2009
There’s nothing quite so exciting for a new Mum as the birthday celebration of her first child. The tiny tot has little understanding of what’s going on while the candle flickers on the decorated cake and Mum and Dad sing the traditional, ‘Happy Birthday’ song. Guests join in, and at the end of the ditty there’s a loud shout of “Hooray!”
Such a child born today in the UK could well have a life expectancy of at least 100 years; the same goes for newly born children in the US. Improvements in health care and the application of new medical knowledge, along with healthier life-styles will bring about increased longevity. More of us will be counting off our birthdays while giving thanks that we still have a good quality of life. Less fortunate unhealthy people who in the main bring it upon themselves through smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, over-indulgence of food, or lack of exercise, will not fully benefit from medical science and future care provision for the elderly. They will needlessly die before becoming centenarians.
For me there is nothing special about annually remembering the date of my birthday, except to keep it as a day when I can give thanks to God for the years given to me during this pilgrimage upon the earth. I like to think of my mother who bore me in her womb for nine months, and also my father, because they loved me and provided for me until I was of age to fend for myself. Apart from that, a birthday is nothing more than another day when greeting cards drop through the letterbox and people give gifts, but I am always touched by the kind thoughts and good wishes of those who remind me of my age by this annual ritual. I smile and say thank you and tell them how much I appreciate their love.