Compassion Calling


We all have something we can do to be of service. All of us. If we listen to the deep silence inside our hearts and minds, we’ll hear something calling us. It may be that for each of us, we’re called to something specific.

My friend, and Dharma teacher, Tracy, is a play therapist. She’s already in a helping profession, doing what Buddhism would call, Right Livelihood. But the other thing she does, is amazing work, all volunteer, sometimes very difficult emotionally, is animal rescue. She always driving crazy long distances to help save animals other people have tossed away like so much garbage. Her work, and all of those who coordinate these efforts, is inspiring. Life saving stuff.

Another Dharma teacher and friend, Sharon, has a focus on the death penalty (amongst other things) homelessness, animal cruelty and on and on. She works tirelessly to help stop the endless executions of human beings, writing letters, using social media, going to vigils. Heart breaking and important work. Her calling is I guess you could say, social justice.

I realized recently that one of my things is blood and organ donation. These are both things which I feel pretty strongly about and informally advocate for others to consider them too. My mentor and alternate father, Frank Weiner, my high school english teacher and best friend, donated blood as often as he could. Somewhere along the line, he’d donated so much blood, they gave him an award for it. He just thought it was necessary to do. It’s easy, takes not very much time and saves lives. As for organ donation, once the body has dropped away, what do we need those organs for? Can’t take them with us! So for me, I say, take whatever you can use. I’ve heard great stories about the organs of a single individual saving or restoring some aspect of 10 people’s lives! 

So, here…just consider it okay? If you want to donate blood, you can contact LIfeSource. They have centers all over the place. You can sign up and make appointments online. I suggest for a first timer, just donate whole blood. It’s easy. You can learn about the other kinds of donation too and consider doing one of those if you are eligible. The LifeSource website will tell you what kind of donations are most needed in your area. Pretty cool.

Organ donation is as simple as adding your intention to your state i.d. or driver’s license. And you should let your family know your intentions.  Check out the Gift of Hope website. They are a terrific organization that can help you understand the issue and make a decision that makes sense for you. They’re very good at making the case. 

In either case, just sit with it. Bring it into your contemplation today. What will you be called to do? The ripples of our good deeds are endless creating only benefit to ourselves and all beings.

And by the way, my next blood donation appointment is at 11:20 am on August 14th. Platelets, at the State of Illinois building. Join me? Appointments are still open.

Carpe Pacem everyone.

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Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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