An 110th Birthday Party

During my fieldwork in the U.S., I live in a religious residence. The elder sister here was turning 110. In addition to all residents, many people came to congratulate from various parts of the country. Another sister wrote a poem and read it in front of us. I thought it was beautiful even though I couldn’t understand a word as it was in Spanish. Our birthday girl looked happy, though a little bit sleepy.

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I have been to many birthday parties in my life, but this is the first time I went to celebrate someone’s 110th birthday, and I don’t know whether there will be a second opportunity like this in my life time. What were people thinking during the party, the meaning of life? It was a sunny afternoon. The rustling capital of the world’s superpower seemed so peaceful while people, acquaintance or strangers, randomly exchanged friendly words with each other.

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Famous people like to say it is not the length of the life, but the content of the life that matters. It is right only in the sense that a meaningful life is more meaningful than a meaningless one. If I wouldn’t live until then, how could l experience future progresses of the human society which I can’t even imagine now? Let’s live long, at least long enough to work out a solution for the demographic problem of aging.

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