Love In A Plastic Bag
It's easy, it's free, and not all that painful
It is a glorious morning. I took my walk, had a good breakfast, and then I came here to give a little of myself. Light, pleasant, uplifting conversation prevails among the givers and those who help. I am relaxed as I rest quietly thinking of whom I may help today. There are others nearby, doing the same.
For me it may be an infant, perhaps a premature baby. The mother may smile with joy or weep in joy as she learns that her new precious treasure is responding to the gift. For another here it may be a soldier, policeman, or fireman; injured in the line of duty. Or maybe, not nearly so attention getting but no less valuable, it is simply mom or dad, grandma or grandpa who had some serious surgery. Perhaps it is a young person who was involved in an accident.
Whatever the situation, whoever the recipient, the giving is a joy. It is so easy. It costs nothing. It takes only a modest amount of time. There is no work for the giver to do. Just relax, then enjoy a snack and a glass of juice. Then it is off to whatever you want or need to do with the rest of your day.
The gift will be passed along by others, given at just the right time to meet just the right need. It will not be wrapped with colored paper and ribbons or bows. It will not carry a card with a cute little note. There will be no singing telegram or helium balloons arriving with it. There will be no box with pictures and a long list of enticing features. There won’t even be a choice of color. It will arrive in a plain plastic bag with nothing more than a label or two with some numbers and notations about the contents.
So what is this gift that costs me nothing; that is truly a little part of me, but a part I will never miss? What is it that fills a simple plastic bag but offers the essence of life itself? It’s blood.
Oooh. “Blood,” you say. A bit squeamish are you? I assure you, there is no reason to turn away. Sure, it takes a needle to get the whole process started, but that is but a second or two of quite bearable pain. Then just lie back and let it flow; flow from you to whomever has a need for it.
Truly this is the source of life. It is a way for even those of us who have no great achievement, no celebrity status, no soul-moving talent, to offer some love to others. Without writing an acclaimed novel, painting a masterpiece, or making a great scientific discovery, you, your co-workers, your neighbors, your family, and other “everyday folks” can give the gift of life and health. And you can do it over and over again. It won’t cost any more the second time, the third time, or the thirty-third time than it does the first time. Like love, when you give blood, it doesn’t take something away from you, it just adds joy to your heart. As the blood runs down the tube, the spirit rises. Today, someone somewhere will have a new chance, or maybe a first chance, at life. Someone’s son, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s brother will be there because you took a few minutes to share a little bit of yourself.
Yes, it is a glorious day!
Love In a Plastic Bag; © John Juneau, 2003. Permission to use freely is granted as long as recognition of author is included.