From Soul Food by Jack Kornfield

Extraordinary Possibilities and the Greatness of the Heart.

It happened just a few years ago to two young children in a family from Illinois. The eight year old daughter became ill and was diagnosed with a life threatening blood disease. A search went out to find a donor of blood compatible with her own. As she weakened, they looked and no donor could be found. Then it was discovered that her six year old brother shared her rare blood type. The mother and their minister and doctor all sat down with the boy to ask if he would be willing to donate his blood to same the life of his sister.

Much to their surprise, he did not answer right away. He wanted some time to think about it. Six year olds can be quite thoughtful at times. After a few days he went to his mother and said, “Yes, I’ll do it!”

The following day the doctor brought both children to his clinic and placed them on cots next to each other. He wanted them to see how one was helping the other. First, he drew a half pint of blood from the young boy’s arm, Then he moved it over to his sister’s cot and inserted the needle so her brother could see the effect. In a few minutes, color began to pour back into her cheeks.

Then the boy motioned for the doctor to come over. He wanted to ask a question, very quietly.

“Will I start to die right away?” he asked.

You see, when he had been asked to donate his blood to save the life of his sister, his six year old mind understood the process literally. That’s why he needed a few days to think about it.

And then he simply gave what is in the heart of every human being to give when we are truly connected.