This I Believe

Jeff - Columbia, Maryland
Entered on April 21, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: sports

Made any good sacrifices lately?

I doubt it

I doubt there’s any such thing as a good sacrifice except maybe in baseball.

The idea of sacrificing for others is based on the silly notion that there is a limited amount of happiness in the world and in order to add to your happiness, I have to subtract from mine. This is nonsense. There is an unlimited amount of happiness and it is always expanding.

The good news is that there is no need to make sacrifices because there is joy to be found in giving to others. A gift and a sacrifice look alike on the outside but feel very different on the inside.

Someone makes a sacrifice because she feels obligated to. She gives a gift because she wants to.

A sacrifice is lose-lose. The person making the sacrifice feels deprived, the person sacrificed for feels guilty, both are diminished.

A gift is win-win. The giver feels generous, the recipient feels grateful, the relationship grows closer.

If you still don’t know the difference between a gift and a sacrifice, look at it this way—if it feels bad it’s a sacrifice, if it feels good it’s a gift.