Self-sacrifice is the noblest trait in human character. Giving up of one’s own interests for the sake of others exalts man. Parents sacrifice their comforts for the sake of their children, soldiers sacrifice themselves for their country. patriots and reformers sacrifice themselves for freedom and truth. Society is held together only by means of sacrifice. If each member of society were to have his own way, regardless of the comforts and interest of others, there would be utter chaos and endless struggle which would make peace and progress impossible.
Sacrifice is the great law of the universe. One thing is sacrificed for the other, and this other sacrifices itself in its own turn for something else, and thus Nature carries on its work. Sacrifice is the price which must be paid for all progress.
The seed is sown in the ground. but unless it loses itself, the crop will not grow. From the dead seed grow hundreds of grains, and similarly from one act of sacrifice spring peace, happiness, and plenty. Martyrs suffer for religion and truth, and their blood saves mankind from error.
Sacrifice is enjoined in every religion as an act of great merit, but it has now degenerated into the sacrifice of animals. The real object of sacrifice was to teach men to give up the best things they loved on earth for the sake of God and their fellow man, and instances are on record where noblemen have not hesitated to part with everything dear to them–wealth, children, and even their own lives–for what they thought to be higher objects. Lily, a poor nurse, saved the life of her infant master, Arnold, son of Walter, by sacrificing that of her own son. Wister sacrificed all he had for truth. The Christians believe that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for mankind.
A charitable man sacrifices his wealth for the benefit of others, and a gentleman sacrifices his own interests for others. A good man will always do a good turn to his neighbors. Really by helping others, we help ourselves.
There are four kinds of men, says a Sanskrit poet: the noblest are those who sacrifice their own interests for others. Next, come those who will serve others only when their own interests do not clash with theirs. The third class are those who injure others for their own selfish ends, but the meanest are those who would inure others, though they themselves gain nothing by it. It is very mean to injure others for our own benefit. There are numerous instances in history, where servants have sacrificed themselves for their masters. Blessed are those who have sacrificed themselves to make the whole world free and happy.