Losing blood and feelin' fine

I use cash to purchase things. Cash is easy to keep track of because you can only carry a set amount, so as long as I remember the amount I had left in my savings the last time I visited an ATM, I know exactly how much money I have left. As a result, I’ll never get used to the debit/plastic craze sweeping the nation. As a result, whenever I pull out my wallet and fish through the pockets looking for proper change, people will often notice my blood donor card sitting pretty in the front-most fold. Several times I've been thanked, congratulated and questioned with smiles of curiosity and gratitude. They ask me why I do it. Was it because I felt obliged to do so? Was I trying to repay a debt for being saved before? Is it because I felt it was the right thing to do? I always shrug them off saying something like “my mother was saved by an anonymous blood donor” or “I do it for the free cookies” but the real answer is something much simpler. I do it so I can feel smug for a few days. Giving blood is the easiest possible way to gain karma. Assuming you haven’t been injecting toxin into your veins, all you have to do is show up to the clinic, fill out a questionnaire, and let the nurses stick you with something sharp and presto. You’re a hero for the rest of the week and all you had to do was sit there and let a stranger in a lab coat stab you. I marveled at how simple it was. I might’ve saved a life. Hell, after multiple donations I might’ve saved several lives. I contributed to society on a greater level than performing physical labour and sacrificing my spinal cord. I didn't do it because I felt I should help people. I didn't do it for the recognition. I do it so I can feel a sense of entitlement. So that I know I did something good. So that I know I've earned myself some good karma. If you ever want to feel good about yourself but you’re too lazy to sign up for some community service, give blood donation a try. Did I mention the free cookies?

Michael Ziegler

Michael Ziegler is a student at Algonquin College, in his second year of the Professional Writing program. He graduated high school as an Air Cadet and still walks around in polished leather boots from time to time.

Sites I Follow: Mcsweenys | Brent Weeks | EscapistMagazine