“Why did the firefighter die, Mom?”
A young boy expectantly looked to his mom for the answer. They were in the 911 Memorial in New York City.
The mom sensitively replied, “He was trying to save other people.”
The boy looked perplexed. “But why did he have to die?”
“Well, it was his job to think of other people first and make sure as many people as possible were safe.”
The boy seemed to think for a minute before he concluded, “Okay, Mom. But I wish he could have kept other people safe and also been okay himself.”
Yes, young man, that would be a nice thing. But it is not the way of sacrifice.
Sometimes people sacrifice their physical lives. Other times, they sacrifice different aspects of their lives, chunks that are felt but not life-ending.
Some of us tout our minuscule sacrifices as significant. Some of us know we could sacrifice more. Some of us avoid sacrifice, and others are sensitive to opportunities.
We often admire others’ sacrifices but we question or even avoid our own.
But sacrifice is an important part of life. It is intimately connected with humility. We always need more of it – both giving it and appreciating it.