I have on more than one occasion been asked why I decided to join the Organ Donor Foundation. My response has always been candid; I am not only a donor, but with more people like me around I'm also a potential recipient of another person's organs.
I have also been asked what's the point of the Foundation's card which is always inserted in my identity document? I respond bluntly because sometimes I feel that it's a stupid question; 'Incase I'm involved in an accident of whatever making where I become brain-dead, I give permission to health authorities to harvest my organs and transplant them into the next stranger - Black, White, Indian, Coloured, American or Iraqi, Palestinian or Israeli, who may need them at any given time'.
Simply put, giving something that was given to me free of charge fulfils me. The same way I would be fufilled receiving from the next person. "More blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that receiveth", that's the Calvinist in me reciting from memory, something I was taught in primary school.
The late Martin Luther King Jr once said that the biggest gift you could give to anyone is your time. I beg to differ, since I believe in human sacrifice - give them your heart if you really love them.
If some people (Jesus Christ being one) gave their lives for us to be here, what makes my organs worthy of the oxygen that keeps them functioning to the extent that I would be selfish not to give them away?
One of the girls I used to know back int he says once told me that dissecting corpses and burying them without vital organs went against our culture. I asked her who was 'our' and whose culture is that? She retorted 'African'. I responded that I don't want to be part of a culture that says people should die because we should be selfish with organs we are going to throw away anyway.
I won't observe a culture that emphasizes the importance of dying instead of living. I refuse to be part of a hypocritical culture that says I cannot donate my kidney to my friend but I can do so to my biological brother. I detest being part of something that's full of obvious contradictions.
I believe in my own life as much as I believe in affording the next stranger the same quality of life. To me, organ donation is a matter of principle, a question of how you value your life as opposed to your demise. It's about doing unto others as you'll like them to do unto you.
I know I will feel offended lying in hospital due to organ failure and the next person takes their healthy organs to the grave even though they could have saved my life. I will surely feel bad if a Comrades Marathon runner with a healthy heart takes his life-muscle to rot while my tumor-infested one is locked in my ribcage, giving me regular fits. WhErE'S tHe LoVe My PeOpLe?
Some people say the ansestors will not receive a dissected person into their ranks. I usually ask, who told you that I was looking forward to meeting losers in the afterlife? Who told you I was going their way anyway? Fuck the ansestors if it means I should be held hostage in my living years by a spirit that failed to save itself from death.
To me, donating my organs is the ultimate expression of self-sacrifice that I can muster. It means that I'll be gone, but my heart, kidney, liver, cornea, bone marrow and all vital transplantable organs will remain living - thus giving me another chance at life.
Christians should know better that the Bible says God will resurrect people from His memory of them, not a collection of bones. He'll resurrect the sea-swallowed victims of the Titanic sinking with the same approach as untraceable bombing victims (Ground Zero, Baghdad, Beirut etc )or those buried in marble caskets with everything intact.
You won't sit on His right hand because you took to the grave everything He gave you - minus your foreskin, but depending on how you treated the next person. The Golden Rule, 'Love your neighbour as you love yourself'.
Remember, you can never claim to love God if you can't love the person next to you. Personally I believe that I've had a good life even though I've been ill due to a weak immune system for half of it.
I discovered exercise, alternative healing and the power of faith so that I can stay healthy for you to replace your damaged organ with mine. With every passing day I entertain thoughts of donating what remains after the harvest to science.
People love to ask me what I would like to be if I got reincarnated. I simply respond that I'll like to be a cartoon character, existing only in the imagination of a syndicated cartoonist. And that's the story of my life.