What is a lifetime?
I don’t mean to get all philosophical on you right off the bat. But really think about it. What is a lifetime? It is hard to say. I was inspired recently by a quote from the Dalai Lama, after he was asked what surprises him the most in life…
HE SAID, “MAN. BECAUSE HE SACRIFICES HIS HEALTH IN ORDER TO MAKE MONEY. THEN HE SACRIFICES HIS MONEY TO RECUPERATE HIS HEALTH. AND THEN HE IS SO ANXIOUS ABOUT THE FUTURE THAT HE DOES NOT ENJOY THE PRESENT. THE RESULT BEING THAT HE DOES NOT LIVE IN THE PRESENT OR THE FUTURE; HE LIVES AS IF HE IS NEVER GOING TO DIE, AND THEN HE DIES HAVING NEVER REALLY LIVED.”
I remember reading this quote and simply feeling awestruck about how true those words are. Everyday life in a proverbial “daily grind” – going to work, studying for school, paying the bills and so on. I think some people forget to take a second and just look up at the sun, and give grace for being alive. This world isn’t perfect, but when you take a closer look at the simple details in everyday life it sure is beautiful, isn’t it?
When it comes to showing appreciation for life, what better way than to donate blood? If you have donated blood before reading this, then take a second to think about where your blood might have gone and who it might have helped. It is almost crazy to think that, in a way, part of you is flowing through someone else. That little pint of blood that you gave could be flowing through the veins of a child going through cancer treatment (and on the road to recovery), all because you decided to take the time out of your busy life to simply give back. It goes beyond the time where the child receives that transfusion for treatment, though. That one blood donation can ultimately be what keeps a person alive. The neat thing is as they grow, and life moves on, there is a little part of you with them.
At Incept, when I’ve talked to first-time blood donors, I really want to convey the following message to them: even if they donate just this one time, they are still producing a lasting, positive impact on someone (or maybe even multiple people) by putting life on pause for a little less than an hour. It makes you think. A regular blood donor is a very rare type of person who is willing to put the rat race on hold or find some extra time to willingly give part of themselves. To me, that is what living is. Living in this life is not just being able to recognize the beauty that surrounds us, but also to recognize when a fellow human being needs help, and answer a noble cause, such as donating blood. Sometimes all that is needed to be asked is, “What is stopping you?”
If you haven’t yet donated blood, what’s stopping you?