TODAY IS my birthday.
Not gonna say how old I am.
I’m just gonna say I’m another year older.
Another year wiser, presumably.
Another year I understand a little more why Schopenhauer was so damn grumpy.
Well…as another year has passed, I, as I do every year, take a philosophical assessment of my life
I actually do this every year. I’m not lying.
You know… I may have gained or lost weight between birthdays (it’s almost always gained). I may be richer or poorer (it’s almost always poorer), but every birthday reminds me to think about the things that are more important than my waistline or bank account.
What am I doing to live the best life philosophically?
I have to say that the answer this year is “not much”.
It’s been kinda a rough year.
Hasn’t it been for everybody?
And yet, here I am. Another birthday. Another year closer to the inevitable.
Sorry I’m being so melancholy. Birthdays get me like that.
You know what’s kinda funny? Every birthday I reflect on my life (philosophically) yet I can’t think of one philosopher who ever said anything about birthdays. I mean, a birthday might be significant philosophically, but are birthdays philosophically significant?
What a philosopher say is the philosophical way to celebrate your birthday?
Would Plato throw a surprise birthday for Aristotle?
Would Descartes throw back a few birthday shots?
Would Hegel tell a stripper it’s his birthday for a free birthday lap dance?
Would chowing down on that second piece of birthday cake involve choosing between being a dissatisfied Socrates or a satisfied pig?
Do philosophers have anything to say about any of this?
I pretty sure Kant had something to say about birthdays.
That guy had something to say about everything.
Anyway… Does it really matter what philosophers have to say about birthdays? I can’t imagine any would have any tips for making a birthday more fun.
They’d all have ways to make your birthday philosophically fun.
And philosophically fun isn’t much fun at all.
I suspect Diogenes would really know how to celebrate a birthday, tho.
I imagine a birthday night out with Diogenes would require stashing away bail money…. because of that public masturbation thing.
If today’s your birthday, Happy Birthday! You made it through another year. And may the year to come bring you health, wealth, and wisdom.
And if it’s not the date of your birth, have a merry un-birthday and be sure to always have bail money — One of your philosopher pals might invite you out to celebrate a birthday night out on the town.