June 25, 2008

On sacrifice…

Sacrifice is one of the big words we use a lot in our society! The word itself has a strong presence, especially in Arabic; tad7eya!!

We really give this word more meaning than we can possibly be able to apply or practice. We magnify its greatness only by saying it with awe, but I personally don’t think we ever take the time to weigh its true meaning and the things that come with it!

I looked up the word in order to highlight what it meant, but to my surprise it had more of a religious origin and connotation rather than the social every-day implication we use!

Wiki highlighted the origin of the word and its practices from the point of view of various religions, and clearly stated that the word is used as a metaphor used to…

“describe selfless good deeds for others or a short term loss in return for a greater gain”

Merriam Webster clearly stated the meaning as follows…

“3 a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b: something given up or lost

As a matter of fact, both, the origin and the common use of the word nowadays seem to ignore some facts:

  • - sacrifice IS related to loss,
    - sacrifice IS done willingly (be it the killing of an animal or human to serve a God),
    - sacrifice does NOT necessarily bring gain to the sacrificed (since let’s face it, they are sacrificed),
    - sacrifice is NOT necessarily worth it (a brief peek at history can prove my point),
    - sacrifice does NOT ensure greater gain to everyone involved (let's let's admit it, something has already been sacrificed; hence, there has been some sort of loss to one of the parties), and
    - sacrifice does NOT always serve a higher purpose (people’s vision can be too shortsighted after all!)

After all the above, I feel safe saying that I am not a big fan of the word/term sacrifice, I simply don’t. I don’t care if it decreases me from a greater being to a selfish one if I say I don’t believe people can be that selfless.

But before you judge me, take a minute and think about it; when people take the higher road or do the right thing, they automatically use the word sacrifice, no??? Why do you think they do that? I think because they want to get on a pedestal; because it was clearly implied at some point in our collective culture(s) that those who sacrifice are better beings who should be appreciated. The word became too commercial to the extent that its sacred meaning has diminished to yet another cliché that people simply overuse; moreover, expect acknowledgement for!

They say things like a parent sacrifices his/her happiness for his/her kids; they ask me to sacrifice my rights, me pride, and then my comfort for my kids’ sake, but they simply don’t get it! There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my kids if I can, but I will never sacrifice the things I think I deserve. i don’t think I have it in me to be big enough and not expect some sort of reward; therefore, I will always expect one, and of course I will always always be frustrated for not getting any! How can that be good for my kids? Let alone that the whole factor of willingness is not fulfilled! And don’t even get me started on the rest of the facts I mentioned above!!

This is not about my divorce or the silly opinions of people accusing me of being selfish for wanting a divorce because I honestly couldn’t care less anymore; I have explained all about my decision too many times.

It is more about how people confuse their duties, responsibilities and obligations with something they are incapable of doing, sacrifice! I know doing the right thing is never an easy task, but let’s not exaggerate!

Months ago, I was telling a friend of mine that one should not sacrifice their happiness because I think humans are incapable of being selfless and they end up expecting more happiness to come their way from certain doors of their liking that they might overlook happiness if it hit them in the face! I was telling my friend that we always expect something in return even when it’s something we should be doing anyways, and when we don’t get it, we get frustrated and resentful; hence, ruining the whole essence of the concept of sacrifice. So, before any of you blindly say they are capable of sacrifice, let me remind you, you DO NOT get anything in return; you just throw it to the wind and hope that it doesn’t throw it back at you hard where it hurts!! And just to end this cynical post, let me say this; when you pee in the wind, the wind blows it back in your direction, but it doesn’t work that way when you throw a kiss!

So there, I am a cynic for the day!! However, believe me when I say that I never believed in sacrifices and whenever I was conflicted about doing something against my will, I only did it because I thought it was the right thing, because I am rectifying something stupid I did before and had to pay my dues or simply because I had no better option, mesh batala!


Adam said...

thats why you don't pee in the wind, you pee on trees :D

insomniac said...

or on el tamaseel elly ana we shimaa benebneeha :p

Shimaa Gamal said...

Yesssssssssssss :) :) :)