I'm a big fan of the idea of karma. Both good and bad. I rely on the hope that the effort I put into being a good person will pay off overall in terms my life working out for me. And when I look around the world and see people being hard-core assholes I console myself with the belief that they will reap what they sow, even if I’m not lucky enough to ever see that happen. My world view is very much tinted by this belief system and it’s my automatic fall back when I start to feel hopeless or out-of-control in my life.
So it’s no surprise that when I try to celebrate this holiday for what it’s worth I think of what I need to be doing to get myself a good karma vote for the season. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed doing, both at this time of the year and whenever I get an e-mail from the red cross, is giving blood. It’s the ultimate karmic action because much like energy and thoughts, once I put it out there I have absolutely no control over what will happen with it. My blood could go to anyone: good person, bad person, scientists doing research that might lead to a cure for something really nasty. I convince myself (because it makes me feel better) that it’s going to help save the life of somebody pretty cool and that that person, because of the life-saving blood they got from me, will go out into the world and do really great things with the life they’ve got.
It’s also a pretty great reminder to me of one really huge thing I have to be grateful for: my health. My disease, while seriously crappy when it comes to dietary issues, doesn’t limit me physically. I can go and give a pint and not be so dead afterwards that I can’t move. And knowing that I am healthy enough to be able to donate blood is a pretty solid reminder of ‘yeah, you’re doing pretty damned good’.
So if you’re trying to come up with ways to give back this season, in addition to donating a gift to a military family or grabbing that extra coupon for the food drive in the supermarket I’d recommend checking out the blood drives going on near you. There are always a ton this time of year because blood supplies get low and they really need the help.
And tonight when I’m lying on the table, squeezing that ball to speed along my blood flow into the bag, I will be thinking good thoughts and hoping that it ultimately ends up being the greatest gift somebody could receive this season.