Just a few days removed from our annual observance of Memorial Day, I found myself pondering over the sacrifice every individual — in which we as a nation remembered — had made. They’d given their life to serve this country, and such is a debt we will never be able to repay.
But what was it all for? Both nothing, and something, I’ve determined. Their sacrifice was for nothing, in the sense that it was that in which they — our fallen soldiers — wanted in return; but it’s that very nothing that makes it all worth something.
Imagine that for a moment, a commitment so grand that one risks their life for it, and essentially expects nothing in return. Incredibly remarkable, I find it; as should we all.
As a society, we can learn from such a creed: sacrifice. Marilyn Manson, of all people, once noted that “sacrifice to me is something you do without expecting something in return.” Whether such entails forfeiting a few minutes jamming out in the car, to call your grandmother — just because — or skipping Sunday brunch with friends, to help your mother with yard work, do it genuinely. With sacrifice, often comes reward; because I assure you that one will find much more self-gratification in their mother’s thankfulness, than they would have if they opted to day drink with their friends.
Personally, I have discovered that I find my true happiness in contributing to bringing joy to those I love. By nature, however, sometimes that may require me to miss out on engagements that would have otherwise only brought joy to myself — and I’m at peace with that. Because only then is the sacrifice that our fallen soldiers may have believed they made for nothing, truly, worth something.