Lance Scranton: Have a heart, give a little |

Lance Scranton: Have a heart, give a little

Lance Scranton
Lance Scranton

“Let’s try, this week, to get out of our selfish, tunnel-vision and see how much the world, and the community, around us is in need.”

Dave Pressgrove left us with these words on Monday morning to help kick off “Have-a-Heart” week at our high school. The concept is encapsulated in student council’s effort to have everyone voluntarily give blood. Giving blood is such a cool analogy for what life truly means when we look outside ourselves and realize how much we have and how much more we can give.

I donate every year because for all practical reasons — it’s easy and I get to eat some free food when I’m all done. What is interesting though, is how differently people react to giving. The Bonfils employees take the clinical approach and treat each person who gives with a kind of, “thanks for giving, now let’s make this as painless and timely as possible.” I like this approach and appreciate their professionalism.

But it’s the customers (givers) that are fascinating! Some appear nervous as they lie down and look away as the technician (taker) inserts the needle. Some get a bit woozy and the “taker” keeps talking to them, helping take their mind off of the extraction.

Others, like me, are fascinated by everything as they swab the skin and look for the vein. I watch with rapt attention as the needle is pushed through the skin and pierces the vein. The blood begins to flow through the tube and every year the “taker” says the same thing: “You are a fast bleeder!” And I lie there “giving speedily” as others wait patiently to fill up the container.

For some of us it is hard to give, because it may not be natural, or we might have been hurt in some way that keeps us from giving easily, or we are in need ourselves. Others give freely as if it is a normal part of life, attentive to the process and regardless of the outcome.

But, no matter how easy or difficult it might be to get out of the tunnel and see a big, wide-open world that is in need; I’m just glad we all get a chance to give something of ourselves to help others — even if it isn’t blood! Have a heart this Valentine week and give to someone you know is in need!

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