why are you here?

That was one of the questions we were asked in sociology this term.

Why are you here?

You can answer it on the small scale.  Like “Why are you here reading this blog right now?”

Or “Why are you here living in THIS place you live in?”

Or the biggest one . . . “Why are you here alive?”


Last night, my friend Tara and I were talking about organ donation.  Since I was in the eleventh grade, I have been a definite organ donation advocate.  To me, it’s clear and it’s simple: if I die in a way that my organs can be donated to save someone’s life, then TAKE THEM.  This discussion lead to Tara telling me that her boyfriend doesn’t share our views on the subject of organ donation.  And I know I can’t change anybody’s mind, and I know that not everybody is going to share my stance on it.  And in most situations, I can understand people’s apprehension behind some of the things I believe and agree with.  And in regard to organ donation, I just can’t.  Some people, I understand, it’s against their religion, and that’s fine, I respect that.  But to just not want someone taking your organs to make them continue to be useful when you can’t use them anymore?  I just think that’s stupid.

A few years ago, a documentary was made in Vancouver called 65_RedRoses [in Canada, click here to watch].  It followed the story of Eva Markvoort, a young woman with Cystic Fibrosis as she awaited a double-lung transplant.

Eva received her transplant.  In following her transplant recovery and complications, the following quote always sticks out to me.

I wasn’t here for six days, and I came back.  Because people needed me.  They wouldn’t be okay if I wasn’t here.

She went on to continue be a huge advocate for transplant and the CF community in Canada which you can read about on her blog.

Unfortunately, Eva’s lungs rejected and she died while waiting for a second transplant.


Eva knew why she was here.

She used every moment she had to love people.


Some of us have stared death in the face.  But the truth is, we’re all dying.  What are you going to do to make this moment count?

Why are you here?

Feel free to tell me in the comments.


2 thoughts on “why are you here?

  1. Wow. Heavy question. I like it.

    As a religious Jew, my answer would be that I am here to carry out God’s will. I exist so that I can follow the Torah as best as I can and help make the world a better place. I live in Israel because this is the place that the Torah wants me to be. Unconnected to me being a religious Jew, I read your blog because I find it interesting and cuz you’re my friend. (Aww..)

    It just dawned on me I answered the questions backwards. Ah well…

    I have heard of Eva Markvoort before – from an Israeli CFer’s blog I read for years and years, until she died a few months ago… really sad.

    I agree with you 100% about organ donation. If I can save lives after I die, then great. Why not? Israel has a relatively low organ donation rate. I’m not sure what the Muslim take on organ donation is tho I know there are Muslims here who do it. Respect for the dead is a HUGE thing in Judaism. To the point that we bury people ASAP after their death (in Jerusalem, you’re not supposed to wait over 24 hours) and Jewish funerals don’t have wakes since it’s seen as disrespectful to the person to put their dead body on display. Jews also don’t do autopsies out of respect for the body. We don’t cremate either. Dead people are supposed to be buried with their bodies intact and if that’s not possible, then with all their body parts there. There is a special organization in Israel that goes to the scenes of car crashes/bombings/etc and collects body parts so that people can be buried with all of their parts.

    According to Judaism, the only thing that is more important than respect for the dead is preserving lives. Hence the general consensus is that organ donation is permitted only if your organs go directly to saving a life. Donating organs to research is not considered okay. Many Jews here (particularly the ultra orthodox ones) don’t donate organs at all out of respect for the dead… which I really think is too bad. I’m a registered organ donor both in Ohio and here. Here I had the option of specifying that my organs don’t go to research and only are used for implantation. In Ohio I don’t remember if they had that. Hopefully that won’t be an issue.

    Because of our low organ donation rate, there are campaigns here to get people to do it. And it’s rare enough that it makes news when someone does it – well probably not every time, but if they’re young and their organs help save a lot of people then yes, especially if it’s Jewish organs going to an Arab or Arab organs going to a Jew. Hopefully more people will start doing it…

    • I love your response. In relation, I love reading your blog so I can see your perspective on things, because I know based on not only WHERE we live but what we believe that we have different perspectives on things, and I love seeing stuff like that come through. Plus, you know, we have fun!

      I really like your perspective on organ donation, too. I think that while our organ donation rate here [If you have a chance to go back in Eva’s blog and read some of her posts, I definitely recommend it. It’s really too bad that you can’t view the documentary outside of Canada].

      In Canada, our organ donor rate ranks in the bottom half of all countries where transplants are performed. That is absolutely ridiculous, I’d say, for a place that is often prided on helping others. Yet, there are few organizations and very few efforts to get more people donating. We need to follow in Israel’s footsteps on that one.

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