Making a sacrifice is a sign of devotion to another person. When a person cares about someone, he or she has to give a little of themselves. It is necessary to make a sacrifice in order to show devotion to another person. When deciding whether to make such a sacrifice for someone else, there are only to choices: proceed or quit. For example, I remember, a conversation between my father and my mother. My father was feeling overwhelmed seeing his youngest sister, Elsa, struggling as a single mother. Her husband had died.
In order to provide a good education for her son, she had to have a better education to get a higher-paying job and make a better life for herself and her son. Elsa took courses for two years; however, the sacrifices she had to make were exhausting. Furthermore, she was working part-time to pay her bills and school fees. Although Elsa experienced some difficult moments raising her son, she made the choice to continue raising him alone. Meanwhile, she could have sent her son to live with her parents because they always wanted her to finish her education without anything else to worry about and they could have raised him at their expense.
Sacrifice has many definitions. What does it mean for other people? When is a sacrifice appropriate or necessary? Does a sacrifice always have a result that is fair for the giver and receiver? How are sacrifices interpreted to be beneficial or harmful? I believe sacrifices have three key characteristics. The first characteristic of any sacrifice is that it should be fair. Unfair sacrifices sometimes occur unknowingly. While in college, Thad two friends, Alexis and Tom, who lived in the university dorm. Alexis liked to party and spent most of her time off campus while Tom worked hard to get A’s in all his subjects.
Sometimes, I saw Alexis ask Tom to do her homework while she went to a movie with her boyfriend. Tom, thinking he was helping his friend, did almost all her homework. However, what found frustrating was that sometimes Tom spent long hours doing his own studies and homework then, he would do Alexis’s homework instead of resting for the next day. He stayed up all night sacrificing his free time to help his friend cheat her way through school. In this instance, the sacrifice was against the rules and harmful to Alexis in the long run.
Although Tom thought he was keeping Alexis from failing a class, he failed to realize that doing the work for her was going to prevent her from learning skills necessary for her to be successful in life and her future career. Alexis could pass one or two classes now but one of two scenarios will likely happen. In the first Alexis may start cheating in other ways such as on exams or by plagiarizing. In the second scenario, Alexis may not be able to perform the duties on her resume, because Tom was always there to do things for her, so she may get fired.
In addition, Tom was also putting himself in jeopardy by running the risk of being caught and possibly expelled for helping Alexis cheat, compromising all of his hard work, and making an unfair sacrifice of himself. The second characteristic of sacrifice is that nothing should be expected in return. One should not do good deeds for family members and expect anything back from them. In most poor households, there is someone who has to sacrifice their time, money or education in order to see a family member succe life. For instance, since I was in high school, I have met some people who shared their experiences with this.
Mostly, it is the older brother or sister who puts their education on hold. Whenever asked, their response is that one of their parents was sick so they had to drop out of school and get a job to help their family survive. They sacrificed their education so they could provide a better life for their families. Sacrificing their own road to success by playing the role of a parent was a deed that has no expectation of repayment attached to it. The third characteristic of sacrifice is that it should be well thought through. A well planned sacrifice might not always have a positive result, but it is more likely to.
For instance, I remember watching a movie about a man who loved his son dearly and provided everything for him. The father was a wealthy man who spoiled his son unconditionally. The father thought as long as there was money, his son would not need anything else. However, the son sometimes engaged in violent behavior. Subsequently, his son became a drug addict. One day, at a club, he picked a fight with someone and he hit his opponent with a bottle full of champagne. The opponent ended up in the hospital and the son went to jail. As usual, the father bailed his son out.
Unfortunately, from this incident, the father and the son did not learn anything except that the bail money was a sacrifice. As days passed by, the father received a phone call from the police station telling him that his son had committed manslaughter because he had overdosed on drugs while driving at high speed, hit someone, and fled the scene. Regrettably, it was too late for the father and his wealth to save his son. If the father had taken his son to rehab earlier, the son could have received some medical attention and learned to make wiser decisions in life.
As a result, the father’s monetary sacrifice was ultimately not effective and did not prevent his son’s downfall. In conclusion, the term sacrifice is defined by the choices that the sacrificer makes. Sacrifices should not be made only for one’s own benefit. Sacrifice must be for an honest and fair purpose. Sacrifice should be a choice without expectation of having the favor returned. Sacrifice must be made with the big picture in mind and must not be harmful. Most people will have to make a sacrifice at some point in their lives, but how and why they do so is as important as the sacrifice itself.