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We hear a lot about the term, “sacrifice” in this world. It is perhaps the greatest example of selflessness, the root of faith, and the essence of courage in so many ways. The centerpoint of our most popular religion epitomizes the value of sacrifice and redemption. The innermost strengths of our armed forces are built around the concepts of sacrifice of self and service to nation.

It is a powerful word, a significant talisman in the nature of man.

This newest generation, however, is not overly fond of the concept, but it’s a little like repairing the leaks in a dam. If you’re willing to work at it in small fashions continuously, you’re less likely to be required to face a huge collapse of some sort down the road. America’s contemporaries have never experienced a world war, a famine, or an epidemic that threatens their country and their way of life. Sacrifice to most of them is having to take out the garbage, or reduce their ballet classes to once a week.

Nonetheless, great achievements are almost always born of great sacrifice, and you need to be raised on a diet of selflessness, or at least have it season the hours in your days, and the love you possess, to understand it.

It is said that the sun so loves the moon that he dies every night to let her grace the sky. Love isn’t about you, and what you can get. It’s about you, and what you can give, and any great relationship begins with two individuals willing to sacrifice anything for the other. That’s love. Flowers and candy, expensive toys, and sweet words are nice, but the rock-hard foundation should always be the knowledge that the one you love will be there when you need them – and vice-versa. It’s called sacrifice.

I can’t help but be reminded of what Mahatma Gandhi once called “The Seven Deadly Sins: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Science without humanity, Knowledge without character, Politics without principle, Commerce without morality, and Worship without sacrifice.

Sometimes sacrifice is nothing more than gritting our teeth through the pain, and staying the course – a continuous journey towards a better life for ourselves, and our loved ones.  It’s a silent courage. It’s the mortar between the building blocks of family and nation.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. – “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

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