“Better late than never”…yes, finally I was able to donate blood! It was moment of utter gratification for me, and I am sure you’ll believe me because I am a person who is just frightened of needles and syringes.

I was very young when I got to know from my aunt about people donating blood. I really felt great about those who used to do that on a frequent basis. This donation is just incomparable and the feeling is just so high; which I wouldn’t have realized until I myself donated blood in December last year.

In the past somehow or other I just could not donate my very own “B+” blood because of this reason or other.

And this time it had to be done; I was damn so eagerly waiting for the event to take place in my new office. I was amongst first set of seven people to donate blood that day.

After filling a set of mandatory questionnaires, we were supposed to get our weights and blood checked.

One’s determination and excitement doesn’t eliminate one’s fears but yes it does lessen it. I literally shout and run away seeing syringes but that day I managed to go myself to the people concerned, get my blood group verified and hemoglobin checked and then allow someone to pierce that thick long needle to pour out blood out of my veins.

As usual my face speaks everything and all those who passed by me asked me the same question:” first time?” I was asked to be relaxed and keep pressing and releasing a stress ball in other hand. It seems it helps,and so I followed at instructed.

After around 15-20 minutes I was told its done and then that thick long needle was removed and an antiseptic cotton kept and on top of a bandage; and Yippee ! I was successful in my blood donation venture.

The act of giving blood is often said to be a purely altruistic act, something that we do out of the goodness of our hearts, for the benefits of others. Certainly most ad campaigns for blood emphasize this altruistic quality.

That day I congratulated myself with this message when I was giving blood, but I didn’t really believe it: we do things because they make us feel good, and donating blood, it seems, is no different.

I read somewhere that some researchers at some University surveyed nearly 1000 prospective donors, and looked at the effect of two different types of message on willingness to help, for both committed and uncommitted blood donors. The messages were either “benevolent”, meaning that both donor and recipient benefit from donation, or “altruistic”, where only the recipient benefits.

The results of the surveys found that beliefs in personal, rather than societal, benefit predicted actual future donation.

In other words, the best explanation for why people donate blood is benevolence – that is, both the donor and recipient benefit from the act.

And committed blood donors were more willing to donate blood when exposed to a benevolent message rather than an altruistic one.

I was very happy on successful beginning of my blood donation plan and would try to be a blood donor whenever I can…