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The power of giving

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Participants of the Blood Hero Day donating blood assisted by UMMC staff.

By: Syamimi Syamila Romli

In our fast-paced lives, we often find ourselves absorbed in our daily routines, wrapped up in personal pursuits, and preoccupied with our own concerns. In the midst of this hustle and bustle, it’s easy to overlook one of the simplest yet most profound ways to make a meaningful impact on both individuals and society as a whole: blood donation.

Syamimi Syamila Romli

Blood donation is a lifeline, not just for those receiving blood but also for those giving it. The significance of blood donation becomes evident when we consider the number of lives it can save. Patients battling life-threatening conditions, trauma victims, and individuals undergoing complex medical procedures all rely on this precious gift. For them, a single donation can mean the difference between life and death.

Beyond the immediate individual impact, blood donation serves a broader purpose in society. It forms the backbone of our healthcare system, ensuring that hospitals and clinics have an adequate blood supply to meet the needs of patients. The collective effort of donors creates a robust safety net for our communities, as we never know when we, or our loved ones, might require this very important resource.

One of the donors after completing her donation

The Stoics, ancient philosophers known for their wisdom and principles of virtuous living, advocated the importance of contributing to the welfare of society. They believed that one’s well-being is intertwined with the well-being of others. In the words of Marcus Aurelius, “What is not good for the hive is not good for the bee”. This wisdom is particularly relevant when considering blood donation.

The Stoics understood that our actions are the ones responsible for shaping the world around us. And contributing to the common good is a fundamental part of living a fulfilled, contented life. When we donate blood, we embrace the idea that our own well-being is closely tied to the well-being of our fellow community members.

And what sets blood donation apart is its simplicity. It’s an act of kindness that requires no extraordinary skills, vast resources, or extensive time commitments. Anyone with a healthy body and a willingness to help can donate. It’s an inclusive opportunity for all of us to make a difference.

Equipped with the fact that only 2.2% of the Malaysian population are donors (compared to 3.5–5.0% recorded in developed countries), Universiti Malaya’s Pusat Asasi Sains (PASUM) students, in partnership with Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), recently organized “Blood Hero Day” at the Dewan Pendeta, Kolej Kediaman Ungku Aziz, Universiti Malaya. This blood donation initiative witnessed 283 blood donors, including a significant number of first-time donors, alongside approximately 40 dedicated committee members, made up entirely of PASUM students, took part in the blood donation drive.

So, let us all carry forward the humanistic legacy of selflessness, like the Stoics who believed that the true measure of greatness comes from our contribution to the common good. The simple act of giving blood can remind us that, despite our life’s complexities, we can all make a significant difference.

In our collective acts of kindness, we find hope for a brighter, healthier future.

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The author is a PASUM student who was part of the organising committee members of “Blood Hero Day”. Further details about the program may be acquired from Muhammad Hafiz Husna Hasnan at hafiz_husna@um.edu.my

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