One important thing that I have learned in my life is that sacrifice must be a part of it. I see no purpose to a life that sustains only itself and not others.
There is something to be said for denying one’s self and giving toward the good of others. When feelings of selfishness bombard me, I like to think about the feeling that I receive after giving, a sense of joy. Even if I hated the feeling of giving, it would still be necessary; it is like deciding to do only art homework, but never any math homework because it is boring. The disciple Matthew also had a strong view on giving when he wrote, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Sacrifice is good for others and it is good for your soul.
I am always drawn to the stories of celebrities who have so much, but are never happy. They attempt suicide, take drugs and try many other methods of relieving their suffering. They ignore what could truly make them happy in life; it certainly is not money, or rich people would be happy.
Sacrifice gives me a perspective that I might not have had before; it helps me to appreciate all the good things in my life and how I would never wish less on anyone. I was once with a friend when a man approached with official looking documents about a charity and asked for some money. I gave him a few dollars and he thanked me and left. Afterward, my friend said to me, “why did you give it to him? It was probably fake.” “Maybe,” I said. “But my responsibility is to give, not what the man does with the money.” I had hoped that if it was a fake, the man might feel a sense of conviction and turn away from the life style of thievery, that’s all I could hope for.
Sacrifice is something I strive for everyday. I realize no one is perfect and everyone is selfish by nature, but every time I give I feel the joy and crave more. That is when you know that you are truly living, when you crave more of life.