The Thought of Sacrifice

When you hear the word sacrifice, what comes to your mind?

We all have to make sacrifices in life.  Whether or not the sacrifices we make are one that we agree with, sometimes we have to give up something in order to help others who are less fortunate.

When’s the last time you made a sacrifice?  What is the sacrifice beneficial?  As I look back at the last couple years of my life, I can think of a lot of sacrifices that I have made that I felt would provide rewarding returns.  A majority of my sacrifices have been made for my family.  Honestly, I feel that when I need to make a choice in spite of what feels good to me, sometimes I initially don’t like the thought of making the choice.  However, once I see the good that my sacrifice has given, I feel good inside.

Think about this question:  Would you make the ultimate sacrifice for someone you love dearly?  Knowing that you would end up losing your own life, and knowing that you are making the choice to eventually protect/defend your loved ones, would you do it?

Think about the movie Seven Pounds for example.  The main character, Ben Thomas (Will Smith), ends up making the ultimate sacrifice in order to benefit other around him.  His organs were donated to others in order to help overcome their physical shortcomings.  Now, I understand that Ben Thomas’ circumstances that led up to his ultimate sacrifice was a little different, but the point is that he made a choice to better others.

Speaking of making a choice to better others, this brings up the thought of Utilitarianism.  Utilitarians aim to increase the amount of pleasure while minimizing suffering of other people.    Could a sacrifice that is set to increase pleasure (or good) for others around you be classified as a utilitarian effort?

In closing, we all make sacrifices.  Think of the sacrifices that your parents made in order to make sure you didn’t make the same mistakes they made when they were younger.  Think about other people who make sacrifices for you, whether you know it or not.

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napoleon Hill

My Evasion(s) From Reality

Evasion – physical or mental escape; an act or instance of escaping, avoiding, or shirking something

Let’s face it:  life can get very difficult.  Things such as school, family, work and its environment, and death and really affect one’s mindset on the way they view life.  All of these things have recently affected me one way or another.  Instead of laying in a puddle of my own misery, there are things that help me overcome what we know as reality.  Here are my top three things I use as temporary evasion from reality:

1. Music

I honestly don’t know where I would be if it was not for the calming relaxation that music gives me.  I have a collection of music for any type of mood that I’m in at the time; ranging from happy to sad to depressed.  Once I put those headphones on, my mind takes a temporary trip from it all to embellish in a life without worries; a life without fear; a life without pain.  To listen to an artist and interpret the message that is being conveyed makes you feel that he/she has been down the same path before.  Music has honestly helped me relieve some stress from everyday life.  Music is more powerful that many people might think because you, as the audience, have the power to mold that song’s message into something that relates to you.

2. Writing

Writing has been my metier for as long as I can remember.  Whether it was that one paragraph assignment back in elementary school, or that fifteen-page essay in college, I just love to write my thoughts out on a piece of paper.  I will honestly say that I am not the type of individual who consistently speaks his mind regarding something.  However, when I write my thoughts down, I believe that my words will have equal significance as verbal communication.  I know that blogging as not the same as writing on a physical piece of paper, but this also helps me get out messages that I’m trying to deliver to an audience of people.

3. Gym

Going to the gym and working out serves me well, especially when I feel angry or tense.  Instead of directing my anger towards someone who doesn’t deserve it, why not just do some physical exercises to relieve some ailing feelings.  The gym serves me well in lowering my stress level and building up muscle.  That’s killing two birds with one stone.

In a physical sense, you’re in the same place as your problems.  On the other hand, your mind is in its own mental paradise for a temporary period of time.  It’s true that life can throw us a curveball, but you can’t make it past home plate with a nervous approach.  Sometimes we need to step back and walk for a little.  Once we re-approach our situation, our swing towards life’s problems will be more sound, and success will point us in the right direction.  I believe we all have evasions or escapes; use it to your advantage.