For everything, there is a season
And a time for every matter under heaven:
… A time to weep, a time to laugh
A time to mourn, and a time to dance..”
This birthday is special to my batchmates and me. We are the batch of 1970 - medical students of CMC Vellore.
Everyone is asking, each other, ”How did you celebrate your special birthday?”
This question got me wondering what is great about birthday or better still why celebrate it all. Is it just the parties , which our parents arranged when we were kids, which our spouses did to gather friends and later the children do for us?
Birth is the beginning of life, and to enjoy the fruits of life, it is good to celebrate the tree event which bore the fruit namely the birth itself. This is the reason for celebrating the birthday.
All of us are thankful to the almighty, God, the force, mother nature that we are safe and sound one more year… ; for all the things we have in life so far. So birthday is yet another reason for saying to say,” Thank you” to the bigger force in life before we return to the earth.
My dad used to visit orphanages to feed during his birthday and my children do the same.
Friends of mine feed the poor by the roadside and do not wait for birthdays to do so- Rotary Texcity of Coimbatore!
What do you do when you celebrate?
In the younger years, one decides to be the best, competes and sets special goals in the occupation. Nothing wrong with this.
But after decades pass by, it is time to wonder if life is going the way you planned……. Are your goals in profession and life being achieved?
In my batch of classmates, most guys are now changing directions- in jobs, locations, habits. I did this a year ago.
It is time to decide if you want to change the direction of your life and the goals for the future. I see an occasional younger colleague changing more quickly and earlier if this is indeed warranted . Good for him as normally wisdom only comes with age. You live only once and you must be what you want to be!
On this special birthday for my batch, the families gather around and arrange special surprise parties. One spouse arranged a surprise overseas trip for the husband and the family.
I left the corporate practice, after 24 years for setting up my own ambulatory surgical centre for advanced laparoscopy and bariatrics, with the family.
I now serve the prince and the pauper…. Right from ‘Redo Bariatric Surgery‘ on overseas patients to doing ‘Whipple’s radical pancreatectomy for cancer of the pancreas’ in the poorest of the poor. There is no need to turn away anyone who cannot afford, as we can always make provisions for most who need surgery, under this roof using the most modern equipment.
I continued with my surgical work on my birthday, as surgery is what I wish to do in my life. This is my forte!
I feel at last that I am doing justice to “ Not to be ministered unto, but to minister” the motto of my alma mater.
I also finish my 2 years of tenure of heading the professional body of laparoscopic surgeons of India; as a team, we have done a lot of good to a lot of surgeons and the feeling is mutually satisfactory.
So it comes to what do you do on your birthday…
- DO SOMETHING GOOD
- DO SOMETHING GOOD YOU NORMALLY DID NOT DO THE DAY BEFORE
- DO SOMETHING NO ONE IS COMPELLING YOU TO DO
- DO SOMETHING OUT OF THE KINDNESS OF YOUR HEART
- DO SOMETHING TO EXPRESS HUMAN KINDNESS AND NOT FOR PROFIT IN RETURN