What do we sacrifice now?
Today is Easter Sunday and rather than just wishing everyone a Happy Easter, which I will. I also wanted the time to reflect on what I hope is a lesson.
We probably all know the religious significance of the Easter holiday and Lent before it, and for those that don’t Wikipedia will do a better job explaining than I can in a few lines on a blog.
So the subject is sacrifice and resurrection and the lessons I feel I can draw from this. Lent calls for a forty days of fasting, prayer and penance. Mostly now people choose to give up a favourite food or drink rather than a more traditional fast. This would seem to make sense as we are more aware of the nutritional requirements of our bodies and the harm we can cause by not meeting these regularly. However are we just paying lip service to a lesson that can apply to use throughout the year? If we have already adapted what else can we draw from this?
Forty days is a barely eleven percent of the year. For the rest of the year would we gladly give something up for the benefit of another? I don’t speak only of the most extreme idea of would you swap your life for someone but the simplest examples, would you step back and let someone get on the bus before you? Would you still do that even if they arrived at the bus stop after you?
A great many of us spend our lives prioritising only our needs and there is nothing wrong with making sure we are looked after but does it not make sense as the saying goes to “pick our battles”.
After all if you expend your energy making sure you are on that bus first then what benefit do you get? A better choice of seat, perhaps? The ability to part with your money earlier, certainly. Now let’s think of what benefits you get by letting someone else go first. A smile or nod, hopefully. A feeling that you have helped make someone else’s day just a tiny but better, probably. The ability to watch as your one act of kindness is reflected in those around you throughout the day, most likely.
As children we have always learned by the example set to us, be that by teachers, parents, other children or authority figures. In truth we are still largely influenced by the examples around us. Therefore the simple choice exists for us to simply switch off and follow the examples shown to us or to be active in our choices in these areas. Choosing to show kindness and watch for it on others, enjoying the moments of pleasure that you can have by influencing others choices for the better.
My thought this Easter is therefore to take this learning into every day. Give something small every day and watch the world give back to you. After all the more you sacrifice (by showing kindness) the more there will be to resurrect (when others show kindness to you).
Have a wonderful Easter everyone!