Have You Ever Sacrificed Yourself?

By this I mean have you taken the blame for someone, done an act which in some way prevents others from harm, or anything else which is completely self-less for the greater good when you were not obliged to?


This from Etymonline:

sacrifice (n.)

late 13c., “the offering of something (especially a life) to a deity as an act of propitiation, homage, etc.;” mid-14c., “that which is offered (to a deity) in sacrifice,” from Old French sacrifise “sacrifice, offering” (12c.), from Latin sacrificium, from sacrificus “performing priestly functions or sacrifices,” etymologically “a making sacred,” from sacra “sacred rites” (properly neuter plural of sacer “sacred;” see sacred) + combining form of facere “to make, to do” (from PIE root *dhe– “to set, put”).

Originally especially of Christ’s propitiatory offering of himself for the world. Latin sacrificium is glossed in Old English by ansegdniss. The general sense of “act of giving up a desirable thing for a higher object or to a more pressing claim,” also “something given up for the sake of another” is recorded from 1590s. Baseball sense of “hit made by the batter not to get himself to base but to enable another player to advance” is by 1880.

sacrifice (v.)

c. 1300, “to offer (something, to a deity) as an expression of thanks, devotion, penitence, etc., from sacrifice (n.). The Meaning “surrender, give up, suffer to be lost for the sake of something else” is from 1706. The intransitive sense of “offer a sacrifice, make offerings to a deity” is from late 13c.

Related: Sacrificed; sacrificing.


I suspect that most people find it difficult not to be selfish and self-centred. They are not overly keen on “falling on their sword” for the greater good. There have been two recent examples of very senior figures, one a president and one a prime minister, who have failed to do the decent thing. Trump speaks like a Christian when it suits but he does not act like one. There are other figures accused of bullying who have apologised and not resigned. They won’t go until forced. One might window dress this as assertive behaviour.

When I was a child, I protected another by taking the blame. This earned me a fair amount of bullying; it was my assessment that I could handle this better than the other boy.  The dynamics of the new age group I was in had become stuck. Someone said that I was the problem in the equation. I simplified his equation by leaving something I had put heart and Soul into over a period of years.  This resignation, this renunciation had an element of sacrifice to it, because I knew the group would have greater longevity after my passing.

Sometimes people say “clever” stuff and it has unexpected consequences.

Donkeys’ years ago, when there was much talk about which colleagues should go, be sacked or nudged, so as to improve a research exercise rating, I resigned with no job to go to. A fairly major element of that decision was the protection of others, a sacrifice of career on my part, another renunciation.

The company which I co-founded was turning into a toxic environment for the employees because of the nasty CEO. I “gave” my founders’ shares back knowing that the company would live longer because the CEO could not claim to have my belief in him. As it turns out he went soon after me and the company briefly thrived. I supported a number of employees forced out by him in their job applications.

These quasi-sacrificial acts nearly always have wider implications than are initially obvious. That is the deep magic.

Those with a negotiating ME centred attitude rarely expect them, nor do they see them coming.

The success story of the spin-out company was subsequently not so easily spun. One of the founders walked. This raises eyebrows, no matter what you say, the eyebrows twitch.

I have some of this sacrificial orientation. It is a strange trait which might be triggered.

If I say, “you can have my resignation if you would like it”, I am not playing a game. I have already decided that I can do this, and it is very unlikely that I retract, I have already gone through the mental process.

When I say that I don’t want very much for myself, I mean it. I can put the needs of others before my own. I don’t have many needs in any case.

Self-centred people do not believe in self-sacrifice nor in the deep magic.

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