Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Donating blood

Donated blood recently in Pusat Darah Negara. I've been donating blood regularly since the last 3 years, thanks to the encouragement of my friend Susan. So Susan, if you are reading this - mucho gracias for encouraging me to do this good deed often.

In my previous times, I went with the a big group so although I had to wait for awhile, it was a jovial affair. This is the first time I went alone and it gave me opportunity to notice few things:

1. Most of the blood donor were Malays.
2. Most of them were in their thirties and above.
3. There was a good mix of male and female donors.
4. Most of the donors looked like they are from the lower income group.

Now I know it's bad of me to make conclusion based on a single observation but it sets me thinking: why aren't there many Chinese donors, why aren't there any young donors, why are the donors mainly from the lower income group?

Pusat Darah Negara provides a clean environment with comfortable chairs and TVs for blood donors to relax.

This trip was really an eye-opener to me on various levels. It taught me to discard my prejudice (& discrimination) against Islam being an "uncaring" religion. Thinking back, I realised that most nurses are Malay too, regardless of whether it's a private or public hospital. I dislike drawing conclusion along racial or religious lines but I think there is something good, noble and admirable about the Malays in our country and the way they live their lives: they care enough to serve, and contribute whatever ways they can. Look at how they work & cook together during kenduri and you'll understand what closeness is.

What about the Chinese here? I think most of us are too busy chasing wealth for ourselves and our families to notice that there are others out there who desperately need our help. This phenomena is probably not attributed to race or religions but it shows the downside of materialism. While the poor may have not much to give, their contributions such as donating blood and organs often make the difference between life and death. I guess sometimes we need to slow down our engine to see that we can make a difference if we want to, if we choose to. For the uninitiated, donating blood is a painless and fast process. You may also choose to donate blood products such as plasma and platelets through the Apheresis machines. Our local Pusat Darah Negara provides a very cosy and comfortable ambience for you to donate blood, with nice snacks and vitamins for donors. Try it, do something meaningful today.