I guess it was my own guilt that bothered me the most.
My son looked at me with disappointment in his eyes, when I told him that I would not be attending his soccer game that weekend. I explained to him that I had to work but yet I could still see his sadness. I told him,
“I make a lot of sacrifices to get you to and from your activities, you can’t be upset everytime something comes up and I cant be there.”
For over a week, this conversation has stuck with me.
Yesterday, I was forced to re-evaluate my definition of “sacrifice” after Tony Cowden jumped through the youtube screen of my cell phone, punched me in the teeth, and bloodied my nose.
In this particular video, Tony points out my over-dramatization of the word “sacrifice”, and how quick I am to use it whenever I am referring to being “selfishly inconvenienced”. Most of what I consider a “sacrifice” is really an “investment”. It is an investment with an expected return. As a matter of fact, I will avoid, at all costs, any inconvenience that does not result in a personal gain.
In my case:
Giving up cupcakes is not a sacrifice.
Going to the gym is not a sacrifice.
Training for a marathon does not involve sacrifice.
Going to my son’s school and sporting events is not a sacrifice.
Eating healthy and taking care of myself is not a sacrifice.
Being there for people in their time of need and lending a compassionate ear is not sacrifice.
All of these things are investments; investments with a return. There is a personal gain that I receive from all of these things that I want to boldly label as sacrifices. I want you to believe that there is a degree of altruism in my actions and that underneath the beard and the love handles is a Mother Theresa of sorts, who is willing to “sacrifice” his time and energy for the greater good of the world, but the truth is, all of the things that I do, are done ultimately for my benefit.
Giving up cupcakes give me the gift of energy and feeling of being alive and inspired.
Devoting time to the gym allows me to have the freedom to play and move around in this world with a degree of comfort and participate in the activities that I enjoy.
Eating healthy affords me the opportunity to squeeze as much life out of each day without feeling sluggish, tired, angry, and sick.
Being there for my children? That’s not the sacrifice, that is the goal. That is the prize. That is the treasure that anyone who truly knows sacrifice has afforded me. My freedom to move, play, experience life, and fatherhood is the result of sacrifices made by others, I am simply a benefactor of the bravery displayed by the people more courageous than myself.
So, maybe I will take just a little more time to give thought to what is actually being “sacrificed”
versus what is being exchanged for something better.
Check out Tony’s video. I took a lot out of it.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,