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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Celebrate Something

In Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll introduces a wonderful bit of silliness: the "unbirthday." As Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice, everyone has just one birthday, but 364 unbirthdays in a year, on which one receives "unbirthday presents."

Silly, yes. But not a bad idea. Isn't every day we're alive worth celebrating?

So what can you celebrate? Start with the basics: birthdays, anniversaries, public holidays. Don't let one go by without celebrating. (As I write this, it's Thanksgiving Day in America--a decidedly unholiday here in China. Still, I will acknowledge it at lunch with a friend.)

Next, a small victory by you, a partner, or a friend at work. Your child's grades (however high or low they may be.) A new purchase, like a car or house. The welcoming of a new pet into your home.

There are so many things to celebrate. In fact, seen rightly, life itself is worth celebration.

The story is told of a new monk in the scriptorium, where the monks copied manuscripts. He noticed that they were copying copies, and assumed that this had been the process for generations.

Approaching the head monk, he suggested that it might be better to go down to the basement and check the originals. The head monk agreed, and headed down the stairs.

As he was gone longer than expected, the new monk went down to find him. There was the head monk, sobbing uncontrollably. When he finally calmed down enough to answer the new monk's query, he cried, "The word is celebrate, not celibate!"

Find something to celebrate. You'll be happier.

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