Edited by: Anshita Agarwal

Have you ever thought about the difference between “to give” and “to sacrifice”?

When this difference came to my knowledge, I was honestly blown away by this fact. I sat wondering for the next few minutes and in my head, I rewound my whole life, just to know whether all these years I had actually given up or had sacrificed…

According to The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, “There is a big difference between giving and sacrificing. Giving from a heart that is overflowing feels so good. Sacrificing does not feel good. Don’t confuse the two- they are diametrically opposed. One emits a signal of lack and the other emits a signal of more-than-enough. One feels good and one does not feel good. Sacrifice will eventually lead to resentment. Giving from a full heart is one of the most joyous things you can do, and the law of attraction will grab hold of that signal and flood even more into your life. You can feel the difference.

After reading it, I realized that each one of us has somewhat sacrificed what we had rather than giving it away from our heart. The societal paradigms across cultures have intermixed the meanings of these terms. As a result, there is a general perception that people who refuse to sacrifice are selfish whereas the art of giving has been considered as a rich man hobby.

Upon careful understanding of this difference, I started the practice of “giving” to others rather than “sacrificing” my needs for them. Initially, it was not easy as I am also the product of the same society and had accustomed myself to sacrifice. But upon developing this new perception, I got immense happiness by giving away from my full basket. If I have financial abundance, I do charity. When I am abundantly happy, I try to bring smile in others’ lives. I sit and listen to others if I have abundant time. So, frankly speaking, I am very careful and particular about my intention and ensure that I do not sacrifice myself for others rather I give them what they deserve or are in need of. The whole idea is to accept one’s sorrows or happiness with compassion for others. I have accepted that if I fail to care for myself then I will never be able to bring happiness and spread positivity around me.

Moreover, the concept is not limited to monetary terms rather “giving” or “sacrificing” touches the emotional aspect of our lives as well, especially, with respect to complex and fiduciary human relationships. I feel that “sacrificing” is most commonly seen in marriages, mostly because our elders practice as well as teach us to sacrifice one’s happiness for other family members. Because of the society we live in, the role of our parents is pre-determined and they are expected to sacrifice their entire life for the larger good of the family. I feel that no one has ever thought of achieving a middle path wherein elders are not put in a position to choose between their personal happiness and what is perceived as good for the family. This often results in bitter old-age stage if their sacrifices do not bear the fruit for which they were made according to them.

To understand and follow the difference is like asking for the radical change in the approach the way families are run worldwide. However, I am certainly positive that if we teach our younger generation this difference and help them to build a strong personality keeping in mind this difference between “giving” and “sacrificing”, with the ability to say ‘no’ humbly when required, it will slowly eradicate the self-deprecating practice to sacrifice for others when one doesn’t have the capacity to sacrifice.

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