To offer sacrifice does not mean killing self, or any other form of living, breathing flesh. For years I have rebelled at the thought of anyone thinking it necessary to shed blood in order to appease God, or The Gods. It just seems so ridiculous to me.
Sacrifice does mean to put self second to another, to relinquish the lead so to speak. Yet when this relinquishing is suggested by another, or forced upon one, then it is no sacrifice … it is theft.
Many cultures practiced sacrifice, human and animal. They believe(d) that spilling the blood of a living soul somehow appeased the Gods and gain(s) them personal favor, power or reprieve. Perhaps it did/does … but it wasn’t/isn’t a true sacrifice. It was/is bastardized.
True sacrifice is willingly, without even a thought needed, gifting life, limb, or well-being so that another may live, and live better, safer, or more substantially. Parents to children, most would not hesitate to lay down their lives for them. Jumping between one who is plotting harm to another and the potential victim … that is sacrifice. Often, most often, these sacrifices aren’t intentional on a conscious level, they usually do not know they could die, they don’t even think about it … for the most part. Seeing a wrong and stepping up in effort to make it right without hesitation … now that’s beauty.
A person typically does not go searching for an opportunity to lay down life. Sometimes it cannot be avoided.
Being inclined to help someone in NO way requires a giving up of ones own sovereignty. If one does choose to lay down their power, to give it to someone else, that is not sacrifice, that is a choice to stop living. USING ones power so that another may live … that is the difference in the gift … and is why I say theft in one format, and gift in the other.
One instance is dark and greedy, filled with a need for power. The other instance is selfless, a joined effort in the hope of bettering the moment, or situation. No one thinks about someone dying in these selfless acts, there is simply a connection and aid from the heart. No one cedes sovereignty, in fact, all parties embrace their own and utilize it to assist each other … usually.
Let us hope that people will understand the difference and begin to embrace their own highest potential for good in the world … and share it so that it may grow and spread like the finest garden ever created.