Saturday, 12 January 2013

Civic Responsibility

I achieved 100 donations at the blood donor clinic this month.  
Hooked up to the plasma-donation machine
I have been donating blood since university when my roommate suggested it.  You can only give blood every two months, so it took many years to get up to 50 donations.  Around 2000 they started putting these "AB donors wanted!" signs on the tables.  People like me with blood type AB are universal plasma donors.  One day staff advised that since my blood type was so rare, at less than 10% of the population, pretty much all of my blood donations spoiled on the shelf and were discarded.  As a universal plasma donor, it gets priority usage, so is much more valuable.  Plus, i feel much better after the donation, since I get all of the red blood cells back.  It's dehydrating is all.  So around 2006 I began a summer routine of cycling the hour to the clinic on Saturday mornings to give plasma, then cycling the hour and a half back home.  I gave up on doing side errands after the donation, because I ended up nauseous if it was hot.  The dehydration affects heat regulation.  The plasma machine spins up the blood in a centrifuge, then collects the amber pus that floats to the top.  The red blood settling to the bottom is pumped back into my arm.  

This is how I see Civic Duty.  It means doing things for others in society that you would have them to do unto you.  The law declares what you must do for others, but civic responsibility consists of doing what you should, even though you don't have to.  Things that fall under the heading of manners are optional, but the right thing to do anyhow.  

I don't even like the golden rule.  Doing to others what you want for yourself is just asking for trouble.  If you are lucky enough to be married to someone who is just like you it has a bit of a chance, but for the rest of us it's creating a nightmare.  People don't want the same things.  Dale Carnegie said it so much better; that you should treat others the way they want to be treated.  I think I have here an exception in which the golden rule can apply, which is civic responsibility.  In matters of civil society, make yourself an example by behaving towards others the same way you want them to behave.  The difference is that when you don't know what others are looking for, your best choice is to set an example.  Don't expect what you aren't willing to do yourself.

This message is my meagre contribution to the Forward Thinking Project.

Ready for winter with the snow tires on
Expecting some typical Canadian winter weather, I went all out this year and put snow tires on the Townie.  There was some snow for a couple weeks, but it's gotten warm again, and melted away.  

Icy slick road
That means more rain.  I hate the cold November rains.  That's supposed to end in November, and let me have snow. They laugh at me in the summer when it's so hot and i comment that it's nice not to have ice on the roads.

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