On today, Veterans Day, we honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and commitment to serve and sacrifice for the common good. We are reminded to think about the sacrifices and service of the men and women who have valiantly and selflessly committed themselves to military service to bring freedom and democracy to persons in other countries and under other government rule.
They fight so that others might enjoy the same freedoms we enjoy, and to ensure we continue to enjoy those freedoms ourselves.
It got me to thinking about how those of us not in the military are also committed to serve others and make sacrifices for them right here at home, every day.
Consider this: sacrifice is the act of giving up something we want in order to help someone else. Commitment is an engagement or obligation that restricts our action.
We sacrifice when we volunteer our time for community projects. We sacrifice when we make financial donations to non-profit organizations whose cause we support. We sacrifice when we lend a hand to neighbors and even strangers when the need arises. We show our commitment when we do these things repeatedly or do them when they are not easy.
While these things of course are hardly on the same level of personal sacrifice and commitment as fighting in a war, the principle is the same. We are giving our time and our money that we could use for ourselves. We organize our schedules and our finances to keep our commitments. Do we really feel we have more than enough time? Do we really feel we have more than enough money to provide for ourselves, our families, their futures and our own?
We volunteer and make contributions out of a sense of duty and honor. We commit to these things because we recognize we can make a difference in others’ lives by what we do. Our reward is not pay, or benefits, a career, or even marketable skills we can put to good use once our tour of duty has ended. Our reward is simply the good feeling we get when we help others, the relationships we build, and the knowledge that by improving the lives of others in our community, we make our community better for all of us.
So today, take time to thank the veterans you know for their sacrifice and commitment – pick up the phone, write a letter, send an email or post a thank you on Facebook. Then, go the extra mile and take time to learn about the stories of our military veterans by visiting Together We Served.
And then, take a couple of minutes to recognize and thank yourself for all that you do for others. You’re a hero too.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: We can’t all serve in the military, but we can all serve humankind through volunteer work and financial donations. It’s a sacrifice and commitment we all can make.
What sacrifices to do you make for others? Which one is the hardest to do because it requires you to give more of yourself than you can give willingly? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!
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