Today has been a good day: happy, thankful, productive and funny, until an SMS hit my phone and set me on an endless spiral of thoughts. You may remember my post titled Not Good Enough, in which I kind of complained about honours and complacency. Today the blood donors association notified me that I was entitled to get the gold medal for 40 or more donations and that I was invited to the annual dinner on Saturday to receive it.
For a honors-hating-blushing-introvert-please-don’t-thank-me guy like me, it was a little too much! I don’t give blood for myself, I do it for other people, and I think that everyone in the right medical conditions should do it. I was torn between to different courses of action:
- Going to a dinner party I deserted for years, so it would seem that I was there just to be honoured
- Decline the invite, but then I knew they would bring me the medal nevertheless
It took me more than four hours to reply, and I was able to do it only when I looked at the matter from the perspective of first principles:
- Stay true to your word, act like you speak
- Disregard honours. They are not the real thing; they are an artificial construction
- Whatever you do, try to add value. Think about the final results of your endeavours: why am I doing this?
So I texted back this message: “Hello XXX, thank you for your kind thought! I won’t be at the dinner and, if you allow me, I’d like to donate the medal to the Association to contribute promoting his activities. Have a nice evening!”
Anxiety stopped abruptly and the day went back to its normal wake-enjoy-love-care-thank-sleep cycle again.
Until next time, take a moment to consider talking to your local blood donors association.