Today it's my birthday and I decided to write a blog on an experience that inspired me.
We all celebrate our birthdays through multiple ways some spend time with family & friends and some choose to offer food or money to the poor and the needy. While some of us choose to visit an orphanage and celebrate with the children there. In my post, I try to explore my views on celebrating birthdays at an orphanage. Particularly based on an experience when I was 15.
To begin with, The children who live at the orphanage neither have a birthday of their own nor do they have parents to celebrate them with. On one hand, celebrating special occasions at an orphanage may seem to be a generous act and on the other hand, do we really know how the kids feel about the so-called generous act. I think its high time we bridge the gap between the two.
When we return from our celebration there, we may derive the satisfaction of having offered them a sumptuous meal this could bring a sense of vanity within ourselves. For example, a child celebrating his/her birthday at an orphanage through blowing candles and cutting cakes may develop a vain pride in having feed them all. On the other hand, whomsoever is a receiver, may feel a ce
rtain loss of self-esteem.
Naturally, it makes me think if do we do this for ourselves, or do we do it for them?
This is not to question our generosity but to raise the concern around this expression of love on our special occasions celebrated with the so-called underprivileged. This vanity may seem insignificant, but we normally do it without appreciating the consequences. It appears a highly justifying satisfaction in our minds that after all, we only served a meal to needy children.
This justifying act of generosity can affect some else’s dream, someone else’s self-image & confidence, and their life in general. A child growing in an orphanage might appear less privileged than us, but we must also pay attention to the environment & the safe space they live in. Let's not forget the possibility of them living happily with each other for support & care just like any family set up.
The act of kindness is far more different from this act of generosity. I believe what they need is acceptance, love & kindness
When I was 15, I witnessed a child celebrating his birthday with his family amongst the children at the orphanage. This act made me ponder over something significant. I wondered how the children who applauded & received the cake would feel while the entire room’s attention was centered around the birthday child.
Eventually, it came down to a single question that I could not answer myself. Do those orphans feel special because they were a part of a child’s birthday celebration or do they feel sorry for their situation?
As a teenager, I could not comprehend this complexity of life. This vivid experience moved me. To me, it was a symbol of division between the so-called privileged and the so-called underprivileged
I have realized the rare blessing we have received in being born as we are. And thus let every day be one of the meaningful celebrations. Let every day be one of the valuable experiences.
Feeling grateful to the people who inspire me every day just by being who they are.