There is one thing in my life that I regret. Only one. I had a tough life growing up, with parents who separated, a family on the larger scale that seemed broken apart, I’ve gone through one family member committing suicide, two family members who have attempted, and even I, in a depression, attempted. I fought with my best friend in high school and still in college who was with me during that depression and for half a year did not say a word, only to end up becoming friends again; actually, exceptionally good friends. I crashed my grandfather’s new, below-1000-miles car on graduation night, I’ve tried pot, gotten blacked-out drunk, and for those staunch Christians out there- yes, I’ve even had sex before marriage. But none of those I regret. None of those haunt me. None of those I look at and say I wish that was not a part of me, for they are just different sides of me. But there is one thing I do regret.
I didn’t donate blood when I was 16.
In America, at least Pennsylvania, you can start donating red blood cells at 17. We had blood drives at my high school and there definitely is a node in my head that tells me that of course, I could have gotten away with it. I could have gotten away with donating a couple weeks before my birthday. It’s just a rule. Nothing magical changed when April 4th turned around. Nothing. Just do it. You’ll save a life.
To this day, I still believe I should have.
We, too much, get stuck on pointless discussions and never really speak of action. Both sides. Believers get stuck in prayer and non-believers get stuck in looking at science without really contributing to it. This is something all of us can do. Almost.
Homosexuals still cannot donate.
Sorry, let me rephrase that. If you are a man who has had contact with another man’s genitals since 1977, you are at too high a risk for HIV/AIDS. Marriage might be up for debate, but saving lives is not. I will not advocate for any action such as if you are gay, bisexual, experimented, or hell, even had some drunken “sword” fighting as a teenager, lying to donate blood, but I will state some facts. Blood banks across the country are low. Blood is run through a marathon of tests to check for HIV/AIDS and other dangers. Being gay does not mean you also get AIDS. Please, let’s give life. Take this as a reminder. I know that I might get flack for writing an article not aimed at a topic like Noah’s Flood or evolution, and as a science writer this isn’t truly about biology, but for those who go in the room and ask “Why do you all hate each other so much?”, let’s have this one thing to respond with.
We do donate blood. We do save lives. Because that is something that both of us can get behind.