“Compassion is not a religious business, it is a human business. It is not a luxury, it is essential for our peace and mental stability; it is essential for human survival.” –Dalai Lama
Have you ever gotten so excited about something that you literally fainted? Well that’s exactly what I did today. Only swap out “excited about something” with “low blood pressure.” Yea that’s a little more like it.
Some quick statistics about blood donation brought to you by the American Red Cross:
1) Approximately 41,000 blood donations are needed daily to match the demand. That’s 41,000 random acts of kindness.
2) But, out of the 38% of the population that is eligible to donate, less than 10% do.
3) One blood donation has the potential to save three lives
Prior to today, I was part of that 28% that is eligible to donate by never had. “I don’t like needles” and “I never thought about it” are the two most common reasons cited for not donating. I am neither afraid of needles nor uninformed about donating, in fact, I considered donating on multiple occasions, but just never got around to it.
How many things in life do we think about doing but then never do? Why? My random acts of kindness project blew all my excuses out the window.
My appointment at the local Red Cross went something like this:
1) Drive to Red Cross. Forget about the importance of being well-fed and hydrated prior to donation.
2) Pass through screening process, barely. Remind self to eat more iron-rich foods. And what is up with my low blood pressure?
3) Get settled on a gurney, stabbed repeatedly with a needle (by multiple nurses), and then watch as the blood slowly drains from my arm.
4) Hear nurse say “hey there, keep your eyes open.”
5) Pass out
6) Drink juice and eat way more cookies than one blood donation warrants.
7) Go home with the self-satisfaction that I helped save a life, and a great story to convince my husband he should wait on me for the rest of the day.
Despite passing out, the donation experience was still an overall positive one. That little bit of discomfort I experienced seems worth it when I think about the person on the receiving end. And for one glorious afternoon, I got to proudly proclaim that I helped save a life. I’m pretty sure that gives me automatic superhero status.
Someone cue the Superman theme song.
I’m taking suggestions for my superhero name.