What Birthdays Are About


Photo credit: Kalexanderson via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Maybe you’ve already seen the viral video going around of a teacher moved to tears by his students when they throw him a surprise birthday party.

Not everyone loves a surprise, but this feel-good story is proof of the value of birthdays.

English teacher Kyle Simpler enjoys a cake (featuring his favorite cat Felix) and the students have decorated his Burleson High School classroom. Considering the 59-year-old says he’s typically private and his family doesn’t make a big deal of birthdays, the Inside Edition, HuffingtonPost, and 30,000 video views of his arrival in his classroom are certainly a change. Yet, I’d argue, it’s being made to feel special that has the true impact.

I live with a high school teacher. I can bet he too would be thrilled if his students showed him some birthday love. Not only because it’s his birthday, but because it shows appreciation of the hard work he does.

There are other examples online of students surprising their teachers on their birthdays. What I love about these videos is the joy on the birthday celebrant’s face, but also the enthusiasm the students feel for being part of this special day.

We enjoy being part of someone’s birthday. Even over the Internet. Seriously, google searching “students surprise teacher birthday” netted four pages of the same Texas schoolteacher story retold by news outlets around the world. Why? Because it makes us smile, wherever we are, whether we know the person or not, to see someone enjoying a birthday and feeling the love.

That, my loyal readers, is the true value of birthdays! Think I’m weird to love birthdays this much? Look again at the love shared on these special days and you’ll have better insight into why I am such a big birthday fan.



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