I believe that it is only through sacrifice that we truly find our purpose. The purpose in all of our lives is to help another without reciprocation. We don’t get anything in return except a feeling of great accomplishment and peace. By giving away a piece of ourselves for the betterment of someone else, we become more complete. We become whole.
Soldiers that leave their families behind to face uncertain death. Soldiers that fight for the rights of the folks back home to take a knee or burn a flag.
Teachers that spend their own money on art supplies, notebooks, folders for their students. Teachers that spend time before or after school with that one student that has no one else who cares if they succeed. That one in a million kid that just might make it out and make something of themselves.
Nurses who take that extra moment to ease another’s pain. Nurses that are often overlooked, undervalued, but are essential to the welfare of a patient. They spend 12 hours on their feet despite the pain, full bladders, and growling stomachs, to do the work that is needed to help another.
There were times, I will admit, that I would hear the beeper at 2am, shattering my blissful rest and I would raise my eyebrows, eyes wide, lower lip bitten under my upper teeth, nostrils flared, and I would joyfully pump two middle fingers toward that sound in irritation. I would begrudgingly walk the dimly lit hallways of the hospital toward the ER for an admission. This was residency. I would find one of the fluorescent lights blinking at me. Mocking me. And it got two middle fingers, too.
By the time I get downstairs, my irritation diminished. Time to go to work. Someone was sick. In need. And I was there for them.
If you find yourself feeling hopeless, restless, desperate. Stop. Look around. Count your blessings. Stop waiting for someone to save you, do something for you, sacrifice for you. Do something for another. See others. A shut-in neighbor. A single mother. A soldier home from war. A teacher friend. The homeless. The addicted. The ill. The poor. The lonely. The desperate.
And make a sacrifice. Do something for them and expect nothing in return. You will see a momentous change in your life. When you think you have nothing to give, give it anyway. When you have more than you need, you have no excuse. Feel the guilt of that.
Make a sacrifice today for someone else. For this troubled world. For your very soul.