I lived in Russia for two years (I served my LDS mission there) and I vividly remember celebrating my birthday there. It was different than any other birthday I had celebrated before, but it left a lasting impression on me.
People got so excited when I told them it was my birthday. Like REALLY excited. Which is weird because Russians don’t do that very often. Then I quickly discovered why—Russians traditionally give gifts on their birthday. Small gifts like candy, homemade treats, little trinkets, things like that. Thus explaing their TRUE excitement—they were anticipating something sweet from me.
Which is really quite cool if you think about it. It’s the opposite of how our culture views birthdays. It takes away the attention from you and helps you reflect on the people, things, and opportunities in your life that make everything possible for you to grow and develop.
Today’s my 27th birthday. To everyone in my life, thank you. I couldn’t do it without you. If you feel like celebrating my birthday with me, there is nothing more I would love than for you to launch an idea, smile at someone, complement them, send a thank you card to someone, be engaged in the moment, listen, or forgive.
Make a difference in the best way you know how.
Also, consider giving gifts on your birthday. I promise it will make your special day even better.