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Saturday January 1, 2022
Long ago, I read an article about doing a year-end review. It said that if you could look back over the last year and find three good things to celebrate, you’ve had a good year.
As I recall, that had not been a particularly good year. I felt more inclined to focus on all the things that had gone badly. No need to go into details.
Every year since then, I have deliberately and consciously made the effort to list the good things that made the year memorable.
This year, one good thing particularly stands out for me. I became a plasma donor.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: blood, plasma, donor
While I worked in Toronto, a group from our office made regular trips downtown to give blood.
On one of those trips, I saw a man I knew walking aimlessly along the street. “Don!” I called. “Come and join us. We’re going to give blood.”
I knew Don McCallum from his time as a minister in Newfoundland. I had visited him twice in Baie Verte; he had written articles for the magazine I edited, the United Church Observer. As we lay in adjoining tiltback chairs, filling our bags of blood, he told me that he had felt that he was in Toronto because he felt that God was calling him to move on.
He didn’t mention that he had been in Toronto for several weeks already. He hadn’t found a church that needed him. He was broke, despondent, and homeless. He had just 23 cents left in his pocket.
“I was about to give up,” he told me years later. “I thought I had nothing left to give. And then you showed me that I did still have something. I could give some of my blood to someone who needed it.”
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: blood, blood donors, Canadian Blood services, Dalai Lama, altruism