I had an interesting thing happen last week.
In one day I received two different press releases which I though were a great coincidence (if there is such a thing).
One proudly announced “World Kidney Day” — yet another in a seemingly endless line of specially-declared days to celebrate every cause known to man.
Let’s set aside a day to recognize this under-appreciated organ! Pardon the sarcasm, I really don’t have anything against the kidney per se.
Sometimes I just feel like it is all a bit overdone, a day for the kidney, a day for my cat, a day for the thumbnail, it all sounds so “First World.” While people in many places are lucky to have enough to eat or to be free to speak their minds, let alone spend time and energy worrying about an organ they didn’t know they had. The oversaturation of these declarations seem to me to render all such days meaningless as a result.
But then I got to reading a second press release the same day. It was a fascinating story about a Chinese official trying to defect to the United States. He had reportedly revealed his participation in a large number of organ harvesting procedures carried out on prisoners of conscience.
I thought it was an interesting connection they both happened into my inbox on the same day and that perhaps I had been taking the poor kidney for granted.
Perhaps a day to recognize the importance of the kidney could help provide an opportunity for dialogue about some more than questionable practices which may be taking place under the guise of medical research on people imprisoned for speaking their minds or disagreeing with the powers that be.
I know I felt a bit schooled by the whole thing.
So, in summary, I would like to say, thanks to the kidney, and thank goodness for democracy and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, long may they protect us.