Rav Avigdor Miller on Birthday Thoughts
What should one think about on his birthday?
Ahhh! There’s such a great deal to think about! The first thing is to spend time appreciating that you’re still alive. It’s a pleasure to be alive. I look back on my own history and I see many people I knew, who passed away. People who passed away young. Nebach, nebach, nebach. A friend of mine, fourteen years old, passed away. At the age of fourteen he was gone. Another friend – when he was a little older. So you have to thank Hashem on every birthday for the wonderful gift of another year. Now, don’t make a party. No, no, don’t make a party for yourself. But think about that gift on your birthday.
And a second thing to think about is that you must realize that a birthday means that you are in debt to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. The older you are, the bigger is your obligation to serve Hakodosh Boruch Hu and to thank Him. So if Hakodosh Boruch Hu gave you another year, you’d better get busy accomplishing. Because life is passing you by. The wealth of life is when you’re young. The older you get the poorer you are because you have less time to accomplish. There’s so much that you have to accomplish in life. So many valuable things to do; there are so many things to accomplish and time is running out. Another year just went by!
If you would learn one Ktzos Ha’Choshen every week, as the years go by you’d become a baki in Ktzos Ha’Choshen. Do you know what kind of a happiness that is?! I guarantee you that it’s a happiness. A real happiness! But you have to start sometime.
And therefore, as the years pass by, you should become more and more concerned about accomplishing. I know that you might not believe so, but you’re not going to live forever. There are all kinds of achievements that you should be striving for. All kinds of achievements! And life is a happiness because it is an opportunity to achieve the perfection in service of Hashem. And it is the only opportunity that you’re going to have!