Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blood Donations and Life Connections

I was honored this week to be invited to the Canadian Blood Services’ “Honouring Our Lifeblood” event, recognizing and honoring milestones for donors of blood products and it got me to thinking about my donations over more than 20 years.

At first I amused myself with thoughts of the recipients of my blood over the years, potentially numbering up to about 350 people depending on how it was used.

I was amused by the thought of them inheriting some of my traits as a result of the blood transfusion (impossible, I know, but I found it amusing to think about nonetheless).

I pictured friends and relatives of the recipients saying “I don’t know what happened to so-and-so but ever since the transfusion, they’ve been asking a lot of questions about everything, especially the questions “why?” and “how do you know?” and have become insane with helping as many people as they can”. :-)

But then I got to reflecting on how grateful recipients and their loved ones are for all people who donate blood products and how cool it is to consider that the gift of Life is offered with no thought of rewards, medals or a sense of indebtedness.

There are few such gifts in today’s world.

I reflected on all the people that I have dragged into blood collection centers in an effort to convert them into lifetime donors.  I think I’m operating at around an 80% success rate (with some funny and embarrassing stories along the way).

I also reflected on the many wonderful staff  and volunteers I have met in blood collection centers, how friendly they are, how dedicated they are and how I love to thank many of them with my favorite phrase:

“You give great needle”.

Oh yeah – let’s not forget about the free cookies.

Because it’s all about the cookies, right?

In the blood donation process, an anonymous connection is made between donor and recipient, a connection that binds them in ways mostly unknown to either in the anonymity of the donation process.

But a connection is made nonetheless, providing each side with the opportunity to see Life in a different way, a way that honors the miracle that Life is with its unlimited potential.

The connection also provides the recipient with an opportunity to experience more of the Life that otherwise may have been prematurely taken away from them.

So as I look at the invitation before me, it’s more than just a fun get-together.

It’s a reminder that we all have an opportunity to create miracles for people we will never meet (or to be the recipient of such a miracle).

And that’s pretty darn cool if you ask me.

And … oh yeah … let’s not forget the free cookies.

If you have never given blood, please consider giving it a try.

If you have given blood or continue to do so, from one donor to another, I’d like to thank you.

It’s a gift you will always feel proud to offer and one that a complete stranger will be extremely grateful to receive … for the rest of their Life.

And besides, statistically speaking, there is a good chance that the recipient of an anonymous donation may be you someday.

But between now and then, before you receive such an amazing gift, maybe you can even the karmic playing field in advance by helping a few others along the way.

What do you think?

In service and servanthood,


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