Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today is my birthday. So, of course I am celebrating the joyousness of another year on this wonderful planet. Because I am so happy to be celebrating my birthday, I mentioned the fact in an email to my publisher Sarah Portsmouth at Cygnus Books in the UK. She wrote back and told me that today was her brother's birthday also, and she shared the following letter that her brother wrote to his friends and family just before his birthday, 2/17/2002. I wanted to share it with all of you.

To all family and friends: Hi everyone.

As you know, I will shortly be reaching an important milestone in life, my 50th birthday. I expect many of you have been wondering what on earth to do, what to buy me, what I could want, what you could afford, etc. etc. Well, worry no more. I know the feeling. The fact is, I really don’t need anything else but there’s one thing you could do for me that would be much better than any gift, and make the world a little bit better in the process.

All I ask is that you do something for someone who needs a little help, something to cheer someone up a bit, something, large or small, to make the world just a little bit brighter on my special day. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Just invite the old lady next door round for a cup of tea, drop a few coins in a collecting tin or send back that Oxfam envelope with the free pen. If you’re only little then try to be as good as you can all day.

Help Mum. Tidy your room. All I ask is that you think of something to make life easier for someone, to bring a little bit of happiness into their life, then go do it, whatever it is, large or small. Use your imagination.

The most important thing is, whatever you do, don’t tell anyone, most of all me. I don’t want to know. I have all the happiness I could ever fit into life. Let’s share it.

There’s one more thing, though. If you decide to do something for someone on my special day, and at Christmas, please send me a card. Write whatever you want, but so that I know you did something for someone somewhere, just put two little words at the end. Just write ‘I remembered’. That’s all. If every birthday and every Christmas I get a card like that from each of you and nothing else, and I stress I want nothing else, then that is the best present I could ever get, to think that on my special day this little idea of mine is making the world just a little bit better for those less fortunate than myself, simply because you are celebrating me. I don’t have to do anything. All I need to do is sit and watch those cards come in, knowing that each one, because of me, is making the world that little bit brighter.

What better present could I want? There isn’t one. Who knows, it might catch on. We need a name for it. How about ‘Birthday Aid’?


Malcolm Robertson passed away on 02/10/2006, aged 54 years. I would love you to spread his message as far and wide as possible. If you wish, you could send your 'I remembered' cards to me at Cygnus, but I think he will know, wherever he is, without any cards.

With love,
Sarah Portsmouth
Cygnus Books


  1. I love the Feb. 17 post about Birthday Aid and would like to pass it on to friends who are not your blog readers. Would that be OK? Of course I would also share the link so they'll know where it came from.
    Love and light,

  2. Yes, please share this post. It is a wonderful message and I'm sure Sarah Portsmouth, the writer's sister will be very pleased to have it passed along.
    Blessings to you.