Before I became a lawyer, I worked as an engineer on a team that designed hemodialysis machines. While talking with patients going through dialysis, I learned how hard it is to live without a kidney.
Therefore, when I heard about a taxi driver who gave his kidney to a passenger because “God thought it was a good idea,” it caught my attention. If a video screen does not appear below, click here.
The challenge of living up to his values involved painful surgery and giving up a part of his own body. As he said, “I try to be as good to people as I can, but I never thought about giving somebody a part of me.”
Another key value in Tom’s life was to seek and follow God’s leading. As he said, ” I just had a talk with God, and God thought it would be a good idea.”
Even though following this values was challenging, Tom experienced blessings he never anticipated. In addition to giving Rita Van Loenen a new life, Tom found a new life as well when his story hit the news and reconnected him with a daughter he had not seen in thirty years.
I encourage you to follow Tom’s example by living up to your highest values. One way to do this is to memorize and practice the GPS acrostic every day.
- Grade your values: Evaluate your current values
- Pursue worthy values: Family, heroes, role models, employer
- Serve others: It will make you happier!
If your values would move you to give up a kidney, I’ve actually got a dear friend who needs one … as do many other people (see the moving stories on this page).
If you’re not in a position to sacrifice a kidney, there are many other gifts you could give any time that would bless the people around you. Gifts of time, listening, encouragement, compassion, hospitality, forgiveness and material support …
… all of which are simply an overflowing of relational wisdom, the life-changing act of loving and serving others … even when they’re cranky.
- What do you find to be most surprising or inspiring about this story?
- Give two or three examples of the blessings that occur when people live up to their values.
- Give two or three examples of the problems that occur when people fail to live up to their values.
- If you were in Tom’s positions, would your value system have inspired you to do what he did?
- Even if you don’t feel called to give up a kidney, is there some other sacrifice you could make for another person that might improve his or her life? Are you willing to make it?
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© 2014 Ken Sande
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