Is it noble to sacrifice life for someone else? You’d probably answer yes. Indeed it is. In the past this is defined by literal dying for others like what heroes and martyrs had done. In today’s era this is manifested by those unselfish individuals who places others needs before their own.
Take for example the brother who sacrifices his work earnings – supposedly savings for his future family – in order to send his brother to school. Or perhaps the sister who sacrifices her own education so she can work and finance the education of her siblings. Or is it the relative – cousin to some, aunt or uncle to others, brother or sister to few and child to two, who works abroad to sustain all their needs even luxuries. These are now the faces of nobility in our society today.
Yet is it really nobility or stupidity? Some may say they are stupid if the only remaining time they could have spent at school was a semester or less and they didn’t finished it so they could go to work and finance others. Some may say they are stupid for they can’t begin to look after their own needs when it is clear that they would need to invest in their future as well if they want a future for their kids unlike what they have had. Some may sa they are stupid for slaving away in a foreign land and allowing relatives to depend on the thought that just because they are earning dollars or Euros they are rich and can provide almost anything asked of them. Some may say it is stupidity to think of others when there is one’s obvious personal need to consider.
But I say otherwise. It is bravery on the part of the person who sacrificed. Yes they may appear stupid to some. And they may have thought so of themselves when they realized what they have done and whenever they think of the sad predicament they are in yet for them to continually endure it even if they feel they should leave or they should get out and pursue their own dreams and passions is what I believe makes them noble. It is not so much the act itself or the sacrifice itself but the determination to hold on when all they want to do is let go.
I thought I would join their ranks so I hurried up my education and in the end got delayed all the more. I thought I would have to make certain sacrifices also so I jumped at every employment opportunity I could grab my hands on only to realize in the end that I was never expected to sacrifice anything. Now that I have been told to stop and rest in the midst of the ongoing financial crisis we are in, I am more than ever grateful for the family I belonged to – a family who recognizes my own needs and shortcomings and embraces them even they are constantly reprimanded; a family who applauds my strengths and recognizes my passions and dreams and encourages me to pursue them even though the dreams may sometimes be impractical and idealistic.
I am thankful I am not called to join the ranks of these noble people. Much as I salute and admire their courage I do not envy their position. They are heroes in our society and they deserve due recognition – maybe not in the form of public awards and commendations but perhaps by the simple thank you and appreciation of the persons they loved so much that they were willing to lay aside their own personal lives to see their loved one’s lives get better; their loved one’s dreams achieved.
This is my tribute to this new class of nobility. My way of saying that I admire them and find their sacrifice really endearing. I just hope that in the end they would also realize that they have their own dreams and their loved ones also have wings that need to be tested. And so I hope that they realize that their sacrifices are not forever; that one day they will and must also pursue their own dreams and sacrifice for others no longer.
*For my friends and others out there who put aside their own dreams to help others realize theirs.*