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Pittsburgh and Birthdays? What To Learn From The Horrific Tragedy

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Pittsburgh and Birthdays? What To Learn From The Horrific Tragedy

Daphna Lent '21

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I have heard from some people that birthdays should only be celebrated while one is young. They believe that the notion of a birthday party is childish and unnecessary. I would argue, however, that birthdays are very important to celebrate because they mark our development and place in the world.

On Saturday, October 27, a lone gunman entered The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 seniors during Shabbat davening. These individuals’ lives were unexpectedly taken away from them. This was obviously a huge tragedy and affected us as the Jewish people, and the United States as a whole. One of the ways to cope with a tragedy is to learn a lesson from what happened. I propose that we should learn that life is precious and not eternal. Therefore, we should take every opportunity to celebrate the days and years we have, as they come.

Life should be full of happiness and celebrations, and therefore every opportunity for celebration should be taken. Whether treating yourself to something or having a party, achievements and milestones deserve to be acknowledged. Author and speaker John Stahl-Wert says that we must celebrate milestones in order to grow, reflect, and be appreciative. Encouragement and celebration are “affirmation[s] of accomplishment,” boost one’s self esteem, improve one’s mood, and overall contribute to one’s well-being. He also says that the acknowledgment of achievements allows one to look back and learn from one’s journey. We should take what he says to heart, and grab the chance to celebrate every moment of life.

The shooting in Pittsburgh was an indescribable tragedy, and will always evoke feelings of sorrow and loss in our people and country. However, as with all difficult and tragic experiences in life, we can hope to learn from them. The people who were murdered in Pittsburgh were robbed of celebrating their next birthdays, and therefore we should make sure to appreciate the years we are given and the opportunity to spend our time with the people we love.

Source:

“5 Reasons You Should Celebrate Milestones.” First Things First. Accessed November 29, 2018. https://firstthings.org/5-reasons-you-should-celebrate-milestones.

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Pittsburgh and Birthdays? What To Learn From The Horrific Tragedy