A good friend of ours is under the knife this morning. She is donating her kidney to her sister. Easy to say. Giving kidney to her sister, now what’s for dinner, shall we see a movie tonight, sweet of her, yes.

God forbid, we have to make that choice. It is terrifying and yet so ennobling. You can agonise as much as you want, you can rationalize, argue with yourself but when the chips are down it requires huge character to step up. You don’t put words to acts of selflessness, you cannot say how brave, how wonderful, how nice.

Nice. It has nothing to do with nice. It has all to do with style and grace and courage and self-belief.

And I wonder at a time like this how many of us would truly stand and be counted. Without setting it to music, without the song and dance, without making the recipient feel grateful, without being martyred, just cheerful and bubbly and full of confidence.

People like that make us and our squabbles come off petty and churlish and small. To me this is the grandeur of humankind, when you can do something so special, so extraordinary and dismiss it as one of those things.

By the same token, even as one feels privileged to have such as friend and I mean that every which way you also have to give the husband and the children of such people full marks for standing by her. It is not easy to support your partner in such decisions and it requires a certain depth of understanding and caring. I am not being schmaltzy, I am just so proud that there are people like this who do things that make us all better people by reflection.

I know I am saying this inarticulately but I can’t find the words so let’s leave it and send a prayer that they are both fine even as you read this. Wish them well and Godspeed in their recovery.

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