Hau‘oli lā hānau is happy birthday in Hawaiian

And today we wish a Hau‘oli lā hānau to Wayne Hurlbert of our Ho‘ohana Community.

Wayne has done a post on his Blog Business World today about the automated birthday greetings that companies do, saying he feels it’s a good idea. I do too.

In Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi calls birthdays “The Pinging Staple.”

“If 80 percent of success is, as Woody Allen once said, just showing up, then 80 percent of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch. I call it ‘pinging.’ It’s a quick, casual greeting, and it can be done in any number of creative ways. ” my personal favorite pinging occasion remains birthdays, the neglected stepchild of life’s celebrated moments. ” It is your day, and it has been since you were a kid. And even when you’re seventy years old, deep down inside, despite all your protestations, a little recognition of that seventy-year-old-life feels good even if you don’t get a big red wagon anymore. Don’t kid yourself — EVERYONE CARES ABOUT HIS OR HER BIRTHDAY.”

He is absolutely right. (And I highly recommend his book.)

Birthdays are made for aloha. Just take a look at all the categories this talk story about birthdays falls into. Many people send flowers and cards to their moms on their birthdays, with notes that say “I love you mom, thank you for having me!” and that’s such a great thing. We are living in thankfulness for being alive on our birthdays.

I am always so happy to see when businesses understand how important it is to acknowledge the birthdays of their staff as an extra paid holiday on the calendar, or if they must wish to work that day, with a small celebration of some sort. It doesn’t take much to think of something meaningful.

And birthdays are the perfect days to get away with doing those things that you’d really love to do for someone, but can’t for everyone economically, logistically or because it wouldn’t “be fair.” There’s rarely more than a handful of birthdays on the same day in any firm, and for those few people you can really pull off some wild stuff that everyone else gets a kick out of — and silently you get everyone in the party thinking to themselves, “I hope I’ll still be here on my birthday too.”

When we were kids, we didn’t have to do the dishes or any chores on our birthday, and that was the very best thing about the day, no matter how extravagant (or plentiful) your other gifts might be. There was something deliciously wonderful about watching your brothers and sisters do those dishes instead of you.

People will often say, “I hope you don’t have to work on your birthday,” and at one time I did too. However now, with Ho‘ohana ever on the brain and in my heart, I say “I hope this is a day you are working on what you love.”

Comments

  1. says

    You are so right. Everyone does indeed care about his or her birthday. It’s a person’s own special day and it deserves recognition. Even a small gesture is important as part of the well wishes.