Birthday Reflections and The Reality of Time, by Morak Babajide-Alabi
Blog, Newspaper Column

Birthday Reflections and The Reality of Time

by Morak Babajide-Alabi

“Each new year of life added to your past, changing the way you viewed every new day, influencing how you reacted to everything from the simplest daily routines to complex events touching you, your family, and the world you lived in” — Paul Snyder

Second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, quarter by quarter, year by year, decade by decade, century by century, history records our journeys as humans on planet earth. No one has been able to explain why days and nights are measured in seconds, minutes and hours. There is no explanation on how the days of the week came about. Who decided the names? At what meeting or conference did people decide that twelve months should make a year? How did they come to the fact that a decade is 10 years?

Could these details be hidden in the scriptures? I am not sure they are. I bet you will ask if I had made the efforts to search the scriptures before exposing my ignorance here. The scriptures, to my limited knowledge, do not have this information. I know that God created the world and on the seventh day decided to rest. The scriptures did not tell us if he named the days or the months.

I tend to think these could have been part of the authority given to Adam. We read that he had the honour of naming a few things. He named the animals and probably named the days of the week and months before he was joined by Eve. For the sake of argument, I will conclude that the weeks, months and other calendar tasks were part of the early assignments of Brother Adam.

You may wonder why these thoughts are running riots in my head. It is not uncommon for me to try to be philosophical on my birthday. Many times we get carried away with the world or national politics, business and issues that we are lost in the commotion of ideas and events that follow. We are deeply involved in what is directly or indirectly happening around us that we often neglect the most important things that we should always celebrate. In this technological age, news, politics, business, etc. are pushed in our faces every minute of the day through various means and medium, that we have no choice but constantly analysing.

The thoughts about how the days of the week and months of the year are named are some of the unnecessaries that we concentrate on. We tend to bother ourselves with dramatic details that have no relevance to our living. By doing this, we waste our time, wear ourselves out and pretend we are growing in knowledge.

In April 2020, I took a major break from writing. At the start, it looked like an impossible task, however, I was determined to stand aside and just watched the news unfold from various corners of the world. I decided to be led by the opinion of others, while I keep mine to myself. It was not an easy decision, and I was tempted many times to come out of my leave. It was a personal decision and no way dictated by the pandemic, but a need to “grow” and “mature” the mind more.

Theodore W. Higginsworth wrote – “A child whose birthday is coming up is so excited, they count down the days. But as we get older, we seem to lose the excitement. We need to rethink and be happy we have reached another birthday.” April 7 is my birthday. It is a day I always look forward to with excitement. As you grow in age the things that matter not to you in the past suddenly become priorities. No one has been able to explain this. It is a lesson of life that no one teaches but as human beings we grasp naturally. As we pile up the years, we start viewing life from a different perspective.

Many things have changed in my life as I grow in age, got married and started my family. Of recent, I have begun doing a few things my father used to do, that as a teenager, I thought were embarrassing. I have recently started listening to the music of the likes of Don Williams and Jim Reeves. I now find this genre of music very meaningful and comforting, rather than annoying as they were when my dad played them repeatedly some thirty, forty years ago. I have realised that no magic will reverse age or stop people from getting old.

Today is a time of personal reflection. It is time to look back and count the blessings. The hymn – “When Upon Life’s Billows You Are Tempest Tossed” – is one of my favourites. I love singing it as loudly as I can. I love the chorus: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done”

The hymn gets to me every time I hear or sing it. It is a reminder that even when we think we are despised, or we are tossed up and down by the challenges of the world, we should reflect and count the “gifts” we have. It is understandable that at some points in our lives we tend to look only at the low points and forget that even in the darkest periods, there were flashes of lights that allowed us to pull through.

With the distractions and craziness of the world, we tend to count and name the bad “stories” one by one. In the process, we get carried away by the doom and gloom and indirectly lose our souls to dark matters and sad situations. There are many depressing stories that we think we have opinions on. Some affect us directly, while the majority of them happen far away from us, but we still get depressed by their thoughts.

The past fifteen months have been the most depressing ever experienced in this century. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. It claimed many lives, ruined many peoples’ lives, while many lost their means of livelihood and no sign of recovering soon. It is a sad situation. But we all agree, the world must go on.

I have come to respect the fact that of all these happenings, there is none that undue worries or thoughts can change. Therefore, the reality of life is to know when to pause, restock and design strategies for things that matter most to us. No matter how much we flog issues happening around the world, the solution lies with the players and not the analysts.

Birthdays are special days when we celebrate the start of another year and rejoice we are still alive. They are opportunities for us to express gratitude for life. As there are no laid out patterns, individuals have different ways of celebrating their birthdays. Some roll out the carpets, bring out the best wines and paint the cities red. A few barely pay attention to the day or mark it as quietly as they can.

Social media platforms have made it easy for us. They remind us and our “friends” when our birthdays come up. So every year, there is always no dearth of messages from “friends” and “followers.” It does not matter that we interact with these friends twice a year – on birthdays – theirs and ours. The waves of messages from social media friends give you a false sense of love, but in reality, the hearts of some of these people are far away from you. Take Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat out of the birthday equation, we would only remember a couple of these “friends” on their birthdays. It is the age of social media “friendship” and birthday greetings.

I saw this quote and I find it fascinating: “Happy birthday! May your Facebook wall be filled with messages from people you never talk to.”

All the same, we will not let this deter us. Another year is here and with determination, hope, trust and faith in God, we know the best is yet to come. Happy Birthday.

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ABOUT MORAK

I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.

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