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Birthdays Are More Important Than You Think

There is an ongoing debate among analytical thinkers.  The subject; Are humans inherently selfish or altruistic?  It’s my opinion that they are both, and there’s evidence to support my theory.   But, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with birthdays right?  Keep reading.

In the Time article, Is Human Nature Fundamentally Selfish or Altruistic? “evolutionary anthropologist Eric Michael Johnson explored the question against the backdrop of two cultural events in 1957”.  I’ll fast forward you to the end as Mr. Johnson states that, “none of this is to say that humans are never selfish or that we don’t have a grasping, greedy part of our nature. But to claim that “altruistic morality” is a “disease” is to misrepresent reality.”  Here’s a little more.  

In the Scientific American article, Are People Naturally Inclined to Cooperate or Be Selfish? a prison study “researchers found that being selfish was more advantageous than cooperating. The benefit may be short-lived, however. Another study showed that players who cooperated did better in the long run.”  So what’s all this mean?

In other words, yes you could say ‘survival of the fittest’ utilizes our biological weaponized selfishness to ensure our own survival, but as we bring family and friends into our ‘Circle of Trust’ our responsibilities change.  This is where birthdays come into the fold.

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Birthdays are depressing.  Yes, it’s true.  To you, your birthday might be the best day on your yearly calendar, but for a lot of people birthdays bring on some bad memories.

If you’ve had a challenging childhood or a limited amount of friends and loved ones around you, your birthday could be the day of the year you most dread.  Don’t take my word for it, check out a post from DepressionForums.org, where a member states that his/her birthday, “is in a few days, and I’m dreading it. it’s giving me a stomach ache. It’s just a day to remind me that I’m a loser with no friends.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m a pretty strong guy emotionally and this makes me sad enough to shed a damn tear.  So, what can you do?

We’ve all done it before.  A friend or loved one’s birthday comes up and we hand them a lazy, thoughtless gift or worse yet a gift card.  Oh, almost forgot the ever so overused trip to a nightclub where they get wasted and think they’re having the time of their life only to wake up feeling worse the next day or week.  This has to stop.  

It doesn’t matter who you are, at some point on your birthday, you will reflect on your life.  Even if you’re successful there will be things you are not so happy with.  That’s when a friend or family member like YOU becomes so important.

Notice I singled YOU out in the last paragraph.  Yes, this is when the artistic side of your DNA comes into play.  We’re not talking about your birthday here.  Stop being selfish.  Ironically, I  guarantee you, in the end, you’ll be able to make YOUR birthday just as special as theirs by doing so.  After all, studies say that Generosity Is Good For Your Health.

Those are the reasons birthdays are more important than you think. How do you feel about this subject? leave a reply in the comment box below.

Sources

Are People Naturally Inclined to Cooperate or Be Selfish?

Is Human Nature Fundamentally Selfish or Altruistic?

Birthdays can be the worst day of the year for some people because even though you are surrounded by people, you realize you’re all alone

Why Are Birthdays Hard?

Dealing with Birthday Depression and Birthday Sadness: An Update

Being Generous Helps You Live Longer

7 Science-Backed Reasons Why Generosity Is Good For Your Health

[Feature Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash]

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