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How to Save Your Own Life

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One of the contributing factors to my brothers’ death was hemachromatosis. By the time he was diagnosed, a year before he died, it had already caused serious damage to his organs.

It was a hereditary condition and my brother told me to get checked for it. So, I went to a doctor and had blood tests taken along with a painful liver biopsy. In the follow-up appointment to discuss the results the doctor was puzzled. He said I definitely had the condition but was not showing any symptoms. He asked if I had ever donated blood. “Yes, all the time”, I said. “I’m in the gallon club at Cedar Sinai.”

Then the doctor said, “Well, congratulations. You just saved your own life.”

Bloodletting is the only way to get rid of excess iron in the blood for someone with hemachromatosis. Donating on a frequent basis had cleared my blood of excess iron. If the iron hadn’t been removed it would have built up to high enough levels to do severe damage to my internal organs. At my age the damage would have already been life threatening.

This is How

You save your own life by contributing directly to mankind for the sake of humanity with no strings attached.

Not tithing. Tithing is to God.

Not your work. The work you do to create value for others in exchange for money is a wonderful thing. There’s no conflict between that work and the direct contribution I’m referring to here. They’re separate offerings made for a different purpose.

Not an action you take for a direct benefit. Although, its almost impossible to do something for others that doesn’t return to you, in some way.

Like Putting Quarters in a Strangers Parking Meter

Sometimes I use spare quarters to load the parking meters of strangers. I especially like to feed the meters of those who are about to get a ticket. It sounds like a cheap thrill, but, I find it thrilling for less obvious reasons:

  • I hate getting parking tickets.
  • I can’t save myself from getting one, but, I can save someone else.
  • Maybe one day someone will do the same for me.
  • I like the idea of being nice to someone before they’re nice to me.
  • I know the hassle I’m saving my stranger.
  • I know the cost to me is less than the hassle saved for my stranger.
  • I know my stranger will be in a better mood and their mood is contagious.
  • It’s possible their contagious mood travels around the invisible world and improves my own.
  • The state gives out parking tickets to make money, not to encourage people to change their parking habits.
  • Denying the state the proceeds of its deception gives me a thrill. Cheap for me, but not for them.
  • It costs me a quarter. But, it costs the state $25. 100 times ROI in money alone!
  • If my ROI is 100 in money what does it return in the improved and contagious mood of my stranger?
  • If my stranger has $25 more than he would, otherwise, what will he be able to do with the money?
  • If the state has $25 less what may it be prevented from doing that, like all state interference, would decrease the liberty and wealth of society?

Every time I drop a quarter this list comes to mind and makes me smile. Not such a cheap thrill after all, is it?

A Pint of Blood vs. 25 Cents

How much more beneficial is a pint of blood to save a life than a quarter to save a parking ticket? The prospects are enormous and powerful. Powerful enough to save a life. Maybe it would even save your life. Maybe, maybe, maybe. But, not for me.

It did save my life.

Copyright © 2014 by Terence Gillespie. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given to

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I’m Terence, a musician, writer, father, believer, consultant, pilot, and former computer guy. is the primary outlet for my contribution to the world. It’s the virtual home base of my legacy. Here, I write and create things I hope will truly benefit others. Fore more, please see

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