Making Life More Wonderful

By Leslie Sann

When we are aware of the power have to enrich life, it feels good: It feels good to serve life.

~ Marshall Rosenberg

From Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
“In every place I work, I ask people: Think of something you’ve done within the last twenty-four hours that has contributed to making life more wonderful for somebody. And when they’ve recalled something, I ask, how do you feel when you are aware of how that act contributed? And everybody has a smile on their face. You see, when we are aware of the power we have to enrich life, it feels good: It feels good to serve life.”
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I hadn’t donated blood since before Covid. Before the Big Crazy, I used to donate regularly when I realized that only 35% of the population was eligible to give blood. I’m one of the few people who can do it. I enjoyed the ministry until I got the weird bug and stopped.

Out and about doing errands, a sign near the blood donation center caught my attention. Blood Shortage—Please Donate. I thought, Oh, I could do that, and went about my errands.

The next day, during a Zoom meeting, someone mentioned the benefits of donating blood to the donor. I hadn’t been aware of the benefits before. Giving blood prompts the body to generate new blood, which can be beneficial over time, including regulating blood pressure. That’s a nice perk, and that’s not why I donate. His comments reminded me I hadn’t scheduled an appointment, so I called right after the meeting ended.

The phlebotomist who cared for me introduced himself as Ike because we like Ike! He was friendly, kind, warm and caring. I asked him what it was about his job that he loved. And he replied, Well, no matter how hard and some days it could be a lot of work, a lot of people, a lot of blood, but at the end of the day, I know that I have contributed to good in the world. Some people will receive this blood at a time when they really need it. His sincerity touched me. Regardless of the hardship or stress of the job, his focus was on the good he was giving to the world.

Sitting in the comfortable semi-reclining chair, I looked up at the wall, where posters shared stories about people whose lives had been saved due to what was happening in the room. In addition to donating red blood, like I did, people also donate plasma and platelets. Unfortunately, I am not eligible to donate either of those.

One of the posters depicts a woman lovingly holding her small child. It tells the story of a child who was born with a rare blood disorder that prevented his blood from clotting after the umbilical cord was cut. A platelet transfusion saved the child’s life. The poster includes a quote from the mother, My newborn received the gift of life from blood donors.

After the draw was complete, I requested to put a blessing on it for the person receiving it. I held my hands over the container and asked for the person in distress who received the blood to experience a quick recovery through grace for the highest good.

The woman who collected the blood and placed it in the storage container exclaimed, Wow! Nobody’s ever done that. I’m going to do that from now on! She proceeded to tell us a story.

Once, while I was working, a woman came into the facility with a little 5-year-old boy. The boy went around to everyone, giving platelets and thanking them for saving his life. It was that little boy, she said, pointing at the poster.

Her story brought tears to my heart as I remembered how much better life is when I give from the overflow of what I have. I left feeling grateful for being able to contribute.

My next appointment is already scheduled.

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Marshall continues:
“And then I ask people, Can anybody think of anything more fulfilling in life than using our efforts this way? I’ve asked that question all over our planet, and everyone seems to agree. There’s nothing better, nothing that feels better, nothing is more enjoyable than using our efforts in the service of life, contributing to one another’s well-being.”

Blessings and Joy,