Saving lives ...and broadcasting to the world
Woah, what a day! Quite a bumpy ride.
This afternoon, I had a presentation in Japanese on organ donation. That went well. We told the story of Jade, a 7-year-old-girl who was tragically killed in 2006 when hit by a car whilst riding her bicycle. However, Jade did not die in vain - her parents agreed for Jade to be an organ donor - with the result that Jade saved 4 people's lives: those of an including an 11-month-old baby, a 17-month-old baby, a 27-year-old man and a 42-year-old man.
What an amazing thing that little girl did.
Organ donation is still in its infancy in Japan - did you know that in the ten years between 1997 and 2007 Japan only 62 people in Japan donated organs following death? In the UK the figure for last year alone was 1500. It's not that Japanese people don't agree with it - when interviewed for a large-scale survey, over 70% of respondents said they were for with organ donation.
It seems to be more a case of not appreciating that they could actually give the most precious gift of all - the gift of life - simply by carrying a donor card with them and informing their families of the consequences.
It would be wrong to single out the Japanese here. Until last week, I, just like almost 3/4 of the UK population, wasn't registered as a willing organ donor.
Then I clicked on this link, and 30 seconds later I was on the register.
Another topic that we could have chosen to present on was Giving Blood. This year sees the first time ever that I've been able to give blood (my anti-epilepsy drugs having been replaced with organic multivitamins), but once again, until we started looking into the subjectfor these classes, I'd not thought about it.
That's all set to change: next Tuesday (11th March) the National Blood Service is coming to our university. Perfect timing. This afternoon I gave them a call on 08457 711 711, and registered. I'll be giving blood at 2.35pm, after our literature class.
I'm terribly squeamish, and can't bear the sight of blood, but if I can help someone, even perhaps play a samll part in saving someone's life, well, isn't that something worth taking time for? yes Joseph, it is. I'll just look the other way.
WWW means World Wide Web
Something quite bizarre happened this morning. I won't go into details as I've inadvertently caused enough grief as it is, just to say that a recent post on the Mumble (which I have since decided to remove so as to help relieve the stress burden of the individuals concerned) caused quite a reaction within management circles of a Europe-based organisation. They had picked up on it through what I guess would be a Google Alert (you receive an email whenever your pre-defined search terms appear online).
What I found interesting was how my post (which admittedly, was poorly thought out and inaccurate, being the result of a combination of my strong feelings on the topic under discussion, and tiredness), could, to someone looking from a very different viewpoint, mean something so far removed from what had been my intention.
Of course, had someone told me that members of this Dutch organisation's management team would be checking the Mumble I would have laughed - surely they have better things to do with their time than pay attention to the likes of me?! However, today has taught me that actually, I almost have to think as if my blogs are being sent as emails to everyone whom I refer to in them.
Does this then limit my freedom of speech? I don't think so. If I were the kind of blogger who frequently criticized others then yes, of course I'd have to reconsider my style - or face being the recipient of envelopes containing poisoned bananas, labelled "eat me I taste good". But as it is, I won't blog anything that I wouldn't say to someone's face, it's just not right (in the recent post I refer to I was actually defending the individual who became upset upon reading it, my being unaware of their particular political circumstances. Since the storm, I've checked out that individual's profile on the corporate web site. They come across as being tall, and funny).
It's been a learning experience.