Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Is Sacrifice?

Say a friend of mine, Jill, asks if I will help paint her house. Suppose, and this would not be far from actuality, that I do not like painting. But I agree to help her regardless all the while grumbling under my breath about this arduous task I have now obligated myself to.

On the other hand, Boris loves painting! So Boris helps too, and with a much more inspiring attitude. The question is, who is the “true” sacrificer? The one with the negative attitude or the positive one?

Well, certainly my attitude is not exactly appreciated but does this not make it perfectly clear that I am in fact sacrificing? On the other hand, Boris' attitude is decidedly more appreciated and commendable, but remember, he loves painting whereas I do not! If one gives Boris credit for being the “true” sacrificer, it seems misplaced.

The trouble I have with this is that the idea of sacrifice seems to necessitate a distaste for doing something, though doing it nonetheless in the name of sacrifice. Even if my grumbling is done surreptitiously, am I not still acting with somewhat of a rotten attitude? Which is genuine sacrifice?

It seems to me the trick in getting help with something is not to find people to “sacrifice”. It is to find people which love doing whatever task is at hand. Of course I need not have it pointed out that many of the tasks we need help with will be loved by none! I think we just need to accept the fact that sacrifice will seldom if ever be met with cheers and smiles. This, after all, seems to be what makes it sacrifice.

If one lauds those who conceal their contempt for the task at hand, might we suggest their lack of being forthright about this as being in some way dishonest? Might the best sacrificer be the one who makes it perfectly clear he would rather be on a beach frolicking about with beautiful babes than helping out with this miserable task? What is sacrifice?

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