Anne Lamott tells this schmaltzy story about the meaning of love:
I told a story in my old book Bird by Bird, that a legendary spiritual teacher told me 25 years ago. It was about a family in the local Buddhist community, or so he said. And so said everyone who subsequently told it, because it was the single best story about love any of us had ever heard.
A three year old girl, in the next town over, was diagnosed with leukemia. She needed a massive blood transfusion. Everyone in her family was tested to see who would be the best blood donor. It was her ten year old brother. Their parents asked him if he was willing to do this. He said he needed some time to think. A full day later, he said he would do it.
Some time later, he was hospitalized, prepped, and lay on a gurney, hooked up to the blood donor equipment. His blood filled a liter bag. He was very pale. The nurse bent over him, and asked if he was okay. He said, “Yes.” Then he asked, “How soon until I start to die? [link]
Am I the only one who, after drying his eyes, thought this was a massive parenting fail? Get full and informed consent! That poor kid,who thought that his parents were willing to offer him up as a human sacrifice in order for his younger sister to live.
There are two clear morals of this story:
1. Love is a powerful force that leads people to tremendous acts of self sacrifice
2. OMFG TEACH YOUR CHILDREN BASIC SCIENCE