Sacrifices, as a Response to Life’s Challenges

“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”–Joan of Arc

What is it to sacrifice?
Sacrifice may be defined as “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.”

Many say that they make little sacrifices here and there sometimes. For a secure human being, the goal of the sacrifice is oftentimes geared towards others: giving to charity, lending money, providing temporary food and shelter, etc. On a personal basis, sacrifice is done in fulfilment of goals that would benefit the self: a Louis Vuitton bag, diamond earrings, replacement vehicle for the “old reliable,” gourmet food, etc.

Apparently, there are many instances where we can exercise sacrifice. Whether one is forced into the situation or willing enough, sacrifice involves spending additional time, money, and energy to fulfill a particular goal.

Sacrifice is not an attack on one’s happiness. On the contrary, sacrifice itself may actually be brought about by the sense of happiness that pervades in a person by the simple act of giving; all the more when he has the financial capacity to give. Hence, the person sacrifices a little amount to those in need.

When it comes to long-distance relationships, it can be argued that in order for it to work–more so with two people occupying different time zones–despite time and distance, terms of the relationship set by the couple should still be exercised. Given that communication is inherently virtual, how could one be with the other in real time?

While it may be true that both accepts the other in their totality including the work environment each one choses to be involved in, what is one of the key factors that could glue the couple together aside from tolerance?

I believe, in making an effort to cope with time and distance, each one reaches out to the other by making a certain amount of sacrifice for them to stay together. One extends her time to catch the other’s waking hours. The act serves as an assurance that It could prove to be a stretch at the start of the relationship, which makes it all worthwhile.

In a two-income family, both parents make sacrifices for the sake and comfort of their children. They make sure that they are given exceptional education, ample food and clothing, and a good roof above their shoulders. What entails this sacrifice?

Apportionment of their salary according to utilities, personal comforts, and most especially the needs of their children. It means also giving up excessive spending so that they could have sufficient savings for unforeseen expenses in the future.

The world’s current war on COVID has proven to be challenging for most people and continues to test the humanistic sacrifice in terms of having to thrive and still be able to fulfill life’s basic needs. Different ways and means a human being exercises his sense of survival and life preservation is continually being observed.

While most companies have shutdown, many resorted to creating virtual channels to showcase their knowledge and talents not solely for personal income but also for the benefit of others. Along with this, and evidently so, frontliners in the medical field have sacrificed much of their personal and family time in exchange for emergency and recovering patients. Short of saying, the pandemic required people, in general, to make certain sacrifices.

Sacrifice, after all, has many facets.
Truly, our daily life poses a plethora of challenges. Whatever response we choose to alleviate these is vital to the preservation of the lives of others, which are entwined with ours either by consanguinity or by our choice affiliation with them.

Often we make sacrifices for a myriad reasons and in fulfillment of personal and social goals. With the end goal in mind, we choose to make certain sacrifices because we know that, whether we are forced to make that sacrifice or not, our happiness is still the end all and be all of what we have worked for and decided to engage in.

*Currently working at the Philippine International Convention Center, where she began services 22 years ago, Kathryn Valladolid Ebrahim is an alumna of St. Scholastica’s College–Manila; she finished a degree in Bachelor of Arts, major in Sociology, at the University of Santó Tomás; drawing and writing are her primary avocations.