The other morning I brushed my left hand on my right arm, just below where it bends, and I noticed some slight pain. As I looked at my arm I noticed there was a bruise there. Instantly I knew what had caused the injury. A week earlier I had donated blood at the most recent blood drive here in Marion.
I have been donating fairly regularly since I was a senior in high school. Oh sure I’ve missed a couple times, like when I got both my ears pierced in college, and then again for an entire year after I had the worst donation experience ever. (That’s a tale for a different kind of publication.) But over the years I have been fairly regular.
Without exception every blood donation requires a certain amount of inconvenience and discomfort both during the donation and after. But I can qualify all that inconvenience and discomfort with the knowledge that my pint of blood is helping real people in real dire situations.
Now I know that some people can’t donate blood, or due to a very real fear of needles will never donate blood. (Some have stopped reading at the very mention of donating blood.) But this truth of inconvenience and discomfort is not limited to blood donation.
As we look around in our community, we might think to ourselves, “Someone should really ________.” And then fill in the blank; clean up that lot, help that person, spend time with that child, address poverty in our county, etc. In every scenario that we use to fill in the blank inconvenience and discomfort will occur.
It is a simple truth that if we want this community to be the best community it can be then we must be willing to roll up our sleeves and be the best community we can be. Doing what is best for someone might not be the most comfortable thing for me to do, and let’s be honest it might even leave a bruise a week later, but knowing that my discomfort helped someone improve their life even one bit should compel me to accept that discomfort.
As the culture throughout our country grows more and more individualized will we accept that trend and latch onto it, claiming it as our own? Or will we be the community that embraces the values that make Marion better all the time, recognizing that as individuals we can accomplish what benefits only ourselves, but as a community we can accomplish that which benefits us all?