Because there is no reason not to

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Picture an ordinary morning: you wake up and as you lie there in bed, your biggest concern is what you&rsquo;ll have for breakfast. Once you&rsquo;re dressed and in the kitchen with your breakfast in front you, you pull out your phone and your world changes. All of a sudden, the world doesn&rsquo;t revolve around you anymore &mdash; there is too much war, death, and prejudice for any one person to fix. So you skip to the stuff about new album releases and movies and it doesn&rsquo;t bother you &mdash; it&rsquo;s not like you can save the world anyway.&nbsp;</p>

Once breakfast is over, your biggest concern is making it to class on time. Once you’re there, you sit through lectures that seem endless and contemplate your entire life — why exactly are you here? It isn’t long before you provide yourself with the consolation that you’re going to go to medical school to become a cardiac surgeon and save lives. Or that you’ll write the next bestseller and educate people about human rights violations around the world. Or maybe you’ll design an efficient device to provide clean water to people in impoverished areas. The point is, you’ll do something to try to help people and if you can’t, you’ll at least have a hefty paycheck to live a “good life.” You push the thought away when your stomach grumbles and your next concern is what you’ll have for lunch — it’s not like you can save the world anyway. 

You go on socializing, have dinner, do homework, and then get back to bed. And just like that a day in your life is over. You lie in bed going over what you’ll do tomorrow and you eventually drift off to sleep. 

Too many people can relate to this as being an ordinary day in their life — except those patients with blood disorders and serious injuries who require surgical treatments. Except those people whose lives rely on borrowed time in hospital beds — sometimes less than hours. Except those human beings who cannot be treated because their blood type is highly uncommon. They don’t get to debate about what they’ll have for breakfast, or what their ambitions are, or get to sleep knowing they’ll wake up the next morning. 

All it takes is less than an hour to donate blood on campus. An hour from your time socializing, watching BuzzFeed or doing nothing. An hour that could give up to three people’s lives back to them. And if you’re still wondering why you should even bother — after all, what’s in it for you besides a good deed? — medical experts from Harvard University have found that donating blood regularly reduces blood viscosity, which is the leading factor for the risk of heart disease.

So yes, you can’t save the world — but you can let it revolve around people other than yourself for an hour once in a while. If you are a healthy individual who can spend years of your life in medical school, writing to educate people, and designing efficient devices, it’s no one’s fault but your own if you don’t contribute to the simplest, most effective and priceless means of giving back to the world you live in.

Fatima Zohra

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Double Major Arts & Science

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