Giving something up, letting go, waiting for your turn, sacrifice….these words immediately conjure up images of virtue and kindness. In popular literature sacrifice is celebrated, numerous stories have been written around this theme and an abiding image of sacrifice for our generation could well be Jack Dawson sacrificing himself for Rose in the Titanic or Rick’s sacrifice for Ilsa in the Casablanca, you’d relate to one or the other depending on your age!
It’s great to go teary eyed at the end of movie or gush over a handsome hero hiding his feelings as he waves goodbye, but do we really, really feel that sacrifice or giving something up is good or clever or smart?
Hand on heart, I am not sure! There is of course the politically correct response, which tells us we must appreciate sacrifice and celebrate people who are happy to put their needs or desires aside for either the greater good or for their loved ones.
And all of us at some point have been touched by someone who has just taken that little bit less from life, so we can have that little bit more.
BUT- do we treat all sacrifices equally? A mother stays home to look after the kids, celebrate her nurturing instincts. A father stays home and the whispers are that he was probably not that motivated/qualified/good at his job.
A wife quits her job to support her partner, she is supportive and the quiet force behind her man, a husband quitting his job so his wife can follow a great career opportunity……not too often does that happen! And when it does, the usual reaction is surprise, shock and some sniggering.
When someone lets a good opportunity slip, maybe they did not want to take a risk or they felt it was just that close to skirting the edges, or they don’t want to take advantage of a situation- easy to call them unworldly, simple or “just doesn’t have that killer instinct”.
Sadly we have come to admire those folks who win, whatever the cost, against all odds…..the poor guy/girl who lets go……is the SadSack.
Talking to the younger gen, even the concept of sacrifice or letting something go is not option….A sarcastic “Why” is the usual response when you ask them to give something up for someone else!
Like Black and White TV and the doffing of hats….maybe this to has become a quaint, old fashioned practice of the past!