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.


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.


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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