The meaning of sacrifice

In the realm of love and sacrifice, the one who is sacrificing is always the loser.

Sacrifice has been given an altogether different interpretation in recent times. The general meaning given in different dictionaries goes like this: to give up something that is valuable to you in order to help another person or the act of giving up something that is valuable to you in order to help someone else. To sacrifice is to give up something precious in order to gain or maintain something, such as a valuable relationship or some other worthy cause. It is true that many women sacrifice their careers for the sake of their children and family. All over the world, women with successful careers in different fields had to sacrifice their careers which still goes acknowledged in male dominated societies. In most patriarchal societies, women do not only have a role in decision making making and it is always the woman who had to forego their profession or vocation to make their way for their husband’s careers or pursuits. This remains the same in our society also. So, the debate has been whether it is for only the woman to make the sacrifice for the family and not the husband’s also. Okay, that is beside the point.

Many people make sacrifices. We had to make sacrifices in order to pay for our children’s education.

While it’s not an easy sacrifice to make, it is one that supports your partner and your relationship in a positive way. But love doesn’t always have to be a sacrifice. More often, love is a compromise.

While sacrifices are often one-sided, compromises are usually more equal. Sacrifice typically means to give something up of value to get something even more valuable in the future. Sacrifice always implies giving something up or doing something, or some sort of work, that is distasteful. The people in the world who achieve the most are the ones who are able to sacrifice.

It is said in the Bible that God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son as a sacrifice to bring the world around and that the Son of God Jesus Christ gave his life for the world. That much is granted, for millions believe in him and believe in the sacrifice. Yet, there are other forms of sacrifices. In the realm of love and sacrifice, the one who is sacrificing is always the loser. There is enough in our literature of different sacrifices made by certain individuals for persons they love. The love of the land and the Manipuri people made Irom Chanu Sharmila to sacrifice 16 years of her life to fast for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958. What she did afterwards is of no concern to us.

What matters is that she sacrificed most of her youth for the cause so dear to the Manipuri people.

There are many others who sacrificed their life and youth for the cause of the nation as envisaged by them although criticised by some.

Now, comes the question of the ‘sacrifice’ made by Messrs O Lukhoi of Wangoi constituency and O Henry of Wangkhei constituency as highlighted repeatedly by none other than the Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the election campaign. Both of them as Congress legislators skipped the Vote of Confidence motion and resigned as MLAs to save the N Biren Singh led coalition government. They had abandoned their parent party through which they were elected as MLAs. Promises must have been made to them to betray their party, but whether BJP would honour the promises it made was not 100 percent sure then. Yet, they trusted and BJP delivered with ministership for both of them even after becoming ex-MLAs. However, we are still not certain whether their act of resigning should be called a sacrifice or self-seeking. They did sacrifice their position as MLAs for the promise of ministership.

First Published:Oct. 20, 2020, 2:23 p.m.

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