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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I admit it: I tend to stray towards pondering philosophical questions. I've been thinking lately about sacrifice, and it seems to me that quality life is simple a series of sacrifices.

And what do we sacrifice? Time, money, things, a listening ear, emotions........

Here's the question: What do you sacrifice for others? Do you resent sacrifice? Welcome it? Do you see life as sacrifice?
 

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I think almost everything in life is take and give and we always have choices to make. People & situations have as much power over us as we choose to give them for the most part. Not a fan of big government (take take take & I only have so much power there) but that's another story. ;)

I think I often get more than I give because I really look for those small things that can mean a lot. I do enjoy giving of myself, mostly in the form of encouragement and positive thinking, cheering people on. Seeing others find happiness they may have overlooked and helping them feel their best rocks my world.
 

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By sacrificing , we gain understanding of what others are going through and it gives us hope ourselves that we can be strong too. I'm thinking today of Elizabeth Edwards and what were her last words on her blog. Very inspirational whether you agree with her or nor.
 
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some great insights here!

i thik we all sacrifice in some way at some time. some more than others.

the one thing i do think is that...Joam of Arc died already, stop trying to be her. i mean that when people say ridiculous things about frugality and life.
 

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and, i truly believe that life is meant to be lived. one never knows when our time will be up. we could pull out of the driveway in five minutes from now and be killed. one never knows. so, if you are always living for the future, you may miss out on alot of LIFE. life is meant to be lived to its fullest each day. if you wait forever to do something or whatever the case may be, you may never get that chance.

sacrifice is important, but, ....i think i said enough.
 

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Sacrifice is to give up something of value for something of lesser or no value.

Frugal living is to live long term - to give up something of lesser value for something of greater long term value.
 
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I don't see life as a sacrifice at all. I think it is what it is and for me I am determined to be happy and I am because I allow myself the ability to roll with the punches.

Do I get upset and tired sometimes? Oh sure. I just try and shake it off. I remember that I am married to a great man, I have beautiful kind children, I have a modest home and a modest life.

I never wanted a spectacular life. I just wanted normal and to me being normal in my life means I do have it all indeed!
 

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Sacrifices - perhaps....I see it as a series of choices - the results beng a cumulative effect. Scrifice to me is a negative word, while making choices reflects a more powerful position.
 

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I think so. I give up alot of material things to get to stay at home. I give up my own time to make sure my grandsons are taken care of, So i do sacrifice on many things. Not because i have to. Its because i want to.
 
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Sacrifice is to give up something of value for something of lesser or no value.
That is one way of looking at sacrifice. But the returns are often much greater than what you originally gave up, or they make up for it quite well. Taking care of a sick child and having them give you a big hug and tell you they love you. A baby smile after a hard night. Giving up movies or extra activities in order to get out of debt might be construed as a sacrifice but teaching your child how to use money wisely so they do not repeat the same mistakes you did is definitely worth it.

I guess it is how you look at things.
 

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That is one way of looking at sacrifice. But the returns are often much greater than what you originally gave up, or they make up for it quite well. Taking care of a sick child and having them give you a big hug and tell you they love you. A baby smile after a hard night. Giving up movies or extra activities in order to get out of debt might be construed as a sacrifice but teaching your child how to use money wisely so they do not repeat the same mistakes you did is definitely worth it.

I guess it is how you look at things.
On the contrary, it's a question of how you value things.

Which raises the question of "what is a value?" Money has value - true. Money IS value? False. Value has a different meaning than money - or money would be the only thing of value.

So what is a value? A value is that which we act to gain or to keep. The measure of something's value to us as individuals is the measure of how hard we would work and how much we would give to attain the item in question.

When we talk about monetary value - giving up the trip to the theater which rarely gives us more than a short term thrill and a brief escape from reality (how many times do movies actually add real value to our lives, after all?) in order to secure a long term financial state of well being? That's something that considered in the long haul is no sacrifice at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Very thoughtful answers!
Greebo, I'm still pondering your reply, but don't think that I agree with you (may be semantics....).

I really think that I can sacrifice for something of equal or higher value. I can sacrifice my time (which is valuable to me) to care for my parents (sick child, etc.). But I consider them to be worth more than my time. I sacrifice immediate gratification for long term stability. For example, when we built our home, we went without flooring for quite a while (just had sub floor). It would have been so much more comfortable to put in the tile and carpet right away, but we didn't have the money and I wasn't about to get a loan. I was willing to sacrifice the immediate comfort for the longer range goal of being debt free. Are we talking the same thing?
 

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~It's not a sacrifice if you know you will actually end up benefiting from the offering. A sacrifice is truly selfless without any expectation of profit or personal benefit.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
FHG, I'd call your example of flooring an example in delayed gratification. Your decision benefited you financially.
I think sacrifice is correctly named for spiritual matters(your example of time caring for others). In faith we hope that the act strengthens our faith and that whoever is ministered to is blessed. That's just a hope though. When our efforts are met with no perceived blessing for us, it does take a sacrifice to continue without knowing if that time spent will ever be worthwhile.
I think in the same way "sacrifice" is used for members of the military. All that training and waiting on orders without ever knowing if the skills acquired and time invested will be of any benefit to themselves. They may get a salary but military service is so very different than a "job" so I think the "sacrifice" terms fits.
So in short, sacrifice is putting others needs first. Parts of my life are like that but not all life is. I take care of myself and it's healthy to do that.
I don't sacrifice my emotions when it comes to certain people. Of course, that's more in how I deal with how I feel when I'm alone and stewing over the incident than directly to their face. I don't let people walk all over me emotionally. I have a high drama relative who tries to do this. She knows how I feel about her games.
Sacrificing anything of value to a tyrant isn't a sacrifice. It's being a doormat.
I hope this makes sense. I'm dealing with a cranky, teething baby today. :/ ~
 

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This is going to go in a direction wholly unexpected by the OP, I'm sure - and I'm not going to debate the concepts either, because such debate belongs at iQuarrel, not here. But I will present them, and I will answer questions if posed - but again, I will not debate.

Ultimately, I don't expect many people to agree with me - at least not on the surface. The social conditioning for selflessness as a virtue is simply too ingrained, despite the fact that selflessness in practice is impossible. Nor, if fully understood, would people *want* to achieve it.

See, to be truly selfless is to fully deny ones own self interest. At it's logical conclusion, total denial of self interest means surrendering *everything* to the interests of others. Everything - money, food, shelter, clothing, even one's own supply of air, if required by someone else. (If you don't believe me, read up on Immanuel Kant's views of virtue)

In short, total self-denial is the path to one's own death. True selflessness is the sacrifice of all one's values - including one's own life.

I believe that one's own life is each persons foundational value. One can have no other values without one's own life, and one's own life is the only value one has which is an end in itself. One has life, and one must constantly act to keep one's life. (Breathe, eat, sleep, work, build wealth, etc)

Actions which work against one's own self interest therefore act against one's own life to some extent.

In other words, I believe that it is selfishness, not selflessness, that is the basis of virtue. HOWEVER, before the screams of outrage begin, you must understand that I do not consider it in my own self interest to trample others rights, to take from others with no regard, etc.

Without getting into the details (which would take hours worth of posts), suffice it to say that "what is good for the goose is good for the gander". I have no desire to have my own interests violated - if I don't wish to lose any right to pursue my own interests in peace, I must respect the right of others to pursue theirs in peace as well.

Not only does my self-interest preclude the violation of other's rights an interests, my self-interest *requires* me to render help to people when I judge them worthy of help. It is of value to me to live in a world where help for the deserving is available. It is of value to me to see other people succeed in life. Thus if I can help someone without giving up something I can't do without, I will do so, and gladly.

And doing that isn't a sacrifice at all - because I'll be giving up something I can do without to bring about a world more like the one I want to live in. Purely selfish on my part - and yet beneficial to someone else too.
 

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Great discussion! I think that our backgrounds, how we grew up, what we learned and how those words, sacrifice, selfishness, selflessness and others were used make a big difference in our perceptions. In the end, though, I think we are actually agreeing.
 
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I think this is similar to the cheap versus frugal discussion - everyone attaches their own meaning to "sacrafice".

I would define it as giving up something highly valued for an uncertain outcome. As such, I don't believe that life "means" sacrafice. Yes, no one can have everything we want. We all have to "give up" something. But that doesn't mean everything we give up is a sacrafice. I wouldn't consider giving up time to care for a sick friend or relative as a sacrafice. Life is a series of trade-offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We have some very deep thinkers here on FV. Thanks for all the input!
One aspect of living a life of sacrifice is that I ultimately win in the end. So with the example of the sick child, I may sacrifice time to be with that child, but in the end, I receive the joy of knowing that child is better, or of knowing that we did our best. Rarely do I ever sacrifice anything but what I gain something else: usually intangible.

My parents may be moving in with us this winter. It will be a sacrifice of our privacy and of our time. But I wouldn't have it any other way. And I know that in the end, I will come away richer for the experience.

Is it a trade off? Yes, I guess so; I won't debate the language. Whatever it's called, I just think that life is made up of such. I learned long ago that I can't have it all; something had to go. But the sacrifice of letting some things go was worth it.

Greebo, I agree with your viewpoint on self interest. Nuisance26, I find your remarks quite thoughtful.

Thanks, everyone!
 
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