It’s the day after Christmas. If you celebrate the December holiday with others, you know the joy of giving something to someone else is often bigger than the joy of receiving a present. It feels so good to know that someone you care about is smiling, enjoying themselves and enjoying the world a little bit better.
Steven Pinker has recently argued that our world becomes a better place when we expand our “circle of care” to people outside our immediate friends, family and neighbors. Now that the Christmas season has passed, could you feel just as good knowing that you’ve helped a person you’ve never met?
I think the answer is yes, and there are many ways to find that joy. You don’t have to be rich like Bill Gates. If you’re a healthy person, you can give the gift of yourself. There are many people out there who need what your body makes:
- Give blood. Every few weeks, your body makes enough extra blood to spare a pint for someone in a health crisis. Saving a life can be as easy as a few minutes reclining on a cot. To give blood, call the American Red Cross today.
- Give a kidney. You have two and you only need one. There are many people out there who don’t have a single working kidney, who only need one. 2-1 = 1. 0+1 = 1. That’s two lives for one. To find out how to give a kidney, visit this National Kidney Foundation webpage.
- Donate marrow. Many thousands of people are suffering from deadly cancers of the blood – lympoma, leukemia, myeloma. They’re hoping for a cure that comes with the donation of bone marrow stem cells from another person sharing their genetic type. Get tested today to see if you’re the match — testing is free, painless as a cheekswab and confidential. Visit bethematch.org and sign up today.
Christmas is behind us but the New Year approaches. Will you make a New Year’s resolution to give of yourself? Why wait for the New Year? Click one of the links above to get started.