Do you have a birth statement?

A birth statement! Have you ever created one? In some cultures, it is customary to make a birth statement before a baby is born. The mother sets down her values and preferences regarding the expected birth of her baby. In other cultures, a birth statement may be a set of prophecies for a newborn child regarding its future. Parents, friends and relatives gather together to wish the newborn health and happiness. Unfortunately the key party to these proceedings will have no clue as to what is going on. However, imagine, if the newborn were more articulate and could speak for him or herself? Well, with little experience of the world, it would seem very difficult for the child to express any relevant desires.

I suppose a newborn could continue to wish for a good mother, a reasonable amount of food on a daily basis and a great deal of warmth and comfort. Beyond these basic needs, it would take more experience of the outside world before anyone could really know what they wanted or expected out of life. Indeed, our wants and expectations are constantly undergoing change throughout our entire lives. Can you think of anything more dynamic or changeable then your own wants and needs over your lifetime? Things we want today, we may come to regret owning or purchasing or obtaining tomorrow. If only foresight were as good as hindsight. Nevertheless, there is no ignoring the role that experience plays in our lives. Reflection and contemplation will only take you so far. To really understand life, you must live it. You must participate in it.

So what would you like said about you when you were born? We are often asked to think about what we would like to have said about ourselves when we die. However, if you had a chance to make a speech when you were born or to have someone make a speech for you, what would you like said about you at this time? What prophesies, dreams or hopes would you want to have expressed about your life? Pretend you are making this speech for yourself. Jot down a few notes and read them to yourself. Then read them to someone who cares about you. What were your reactions? What were their reactions? How would your life be different if you had achieved theses expectations? Would your life be much different? How? What changes could you still make that would help you to achieve your birth statement?

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